Fringe Box



Surrey Stay Unbeaten

Published on: 31 May, 2017
Updated on: 31 May, 2017

Kumar Sangakkara cover drives on his way to a double century

By George Geaves

Surrey drew with County Championship leaders Essex in Chelmsford thanks to some heroic batting from Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara. The Brown Caps remain unbeaten in the championship so far this year and just one point from the top.

Stand in Surrey captain Rory Burns won the toss and elected to bat but his side got off to the worst start possible. They were 31-5 after just ten overs and the visitors were in turmoil but Sangakkara and youngster Sam Curran produced a sublime sixth-wicket partnership worth 191 to rescue their side.

Curran looked like he was going to complete his maiden Surrey hundred until he was stumped for 90 in the evening session. But Sangakkara made sure of his ton, his fifth in a row, which broke a Surrey record and he ended up scoring 200.

Stuart Meaker added some crucial lower-order runs but came one short of his half-century with 49. Surrey ended up on 369 all out, a solid total after a disastrous morning session.

Essex began their innings well with former England captain Alastair Cook and Nick Browne opening the batting and putting on 61. Just after lunch, Tom Curran got the crucial wicket of Cook, trapping him LBW for 36.

Daniel Lawrence scored a magnificent hundred for Essex, a great effort for someone who is just 19. He was well supported by Essex’s middle order but was the star of The Eagles’ innings.

Surrey debutant Amar Virdi took his first Surrey wicket when he dismissed James Foster and he then picked up another two wickets which gave the youngster a dream start to his Surrey career.

Essex finished their innings 14 ahead of Surrey on 383 meaning that, with just a day to play, a draw was on the cards.

The County Championship table following the draw in Essex. A win at Guildford could put Surrey on top.

Surrey’s objective was to try and avoid losing wickets and make sure they couldn’t lose the match. Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns overturned the deficit quickly with some early boundaries making a draw almost inevitable.

Kumar Sangakkara came to the crease just after lunch and he set about trying to become the first player to score six consecutive County Championship hundreds. The Sri Lankan batted superbly throughout the afternoon session but he was running out of partners as the Surrey middle order collapsed. He reached 84 before he was dismissed by part-time spinner Tom Westley when trying to hurry along the scoring.

The game was called to an end shortly after Sangakkara was dismissed and the top two sides could not be separated.

Surrey and Essex meet again next week in Guildford and the Brown Caps will be hoping to go one better this time out and go back to the top of the table.

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