CHAMPIONS SURREY came within one wicket of claiming a first-class victory which would have gained them entry into the record books.
Surrey had a 410-run deficit from the first innings – which would have been the biggest to be overturned in a first-class match – with Essex chasing 132 to win, and the visitors’ captain Ryan ten Doeschate took the batting honours with an unbeaten 53.
Once again Morne Morkel had bowled Surrey back into the game with 4-28.
Surrey had been bundled out for 67 on the first day, their lowest total at The Oval for 56 years.
Essex replied with an excellent total of 477-8 declared. Surrey vice-captain Jade Dernbach (4-95) took the bowling honours as his side toiled in the field for the first time this season.
Dernbach said: “The wicket flattened out and it was a hard toil from tired bodies. I have enjoyed the season and the hard work, and it’s nice to get back playing red-ball cricket.
Morkel added: “This has been a thoroughly enjoyable season.”
Last week, Surrey were denied a record tenth successive Championship win when heavy rain denied them victory at Taunton, with Somerset following on with 170 runs behind and seven wickets in hand.
It was no surprise to see the country’s leading run-getter Rory Burns being rewarded with an England call-up, with Surrey youngsters Sam Curran and Ollie Pope joining him on the trip to Sri Lanka.