County Championship: Surrey on top against Essex on day two

Fourteen wickets fell on an attritional day two at the Kia Oval as Surrey edged themselves ahead in a top-of-the-table contest against Essex.

County Championship Division One leaders Surrey – resuming on 248-8 – made sure of a batting bonus point before being bowled out for 262 but second-placed Essex were then dismissed for 180 in their own first innings.

And, on a well-grassed pitch giving assistance to the quicker bowlers, Surrey then struggled to 44-3 in their second innings but still took their overall lead to 126.

Only Paul Walter, who top-scored with 64, and Matt Critchley (48) held up the Surrey seam attack for any length of time – but Jamie Porter, Shane Snater and Eathan Bosch all struck new ball blows for Essex before bad light lopped 27 overs off.

Jordan Cox was absent for Essex with him needing to have an appendix operation after leaving the field on Sunday feeling unwell.

Dan Worrall and Jordan Clark took 3-40 and 3-33 respectively for Surrey.

Clark followed up his crucial early strike to remove former South Africa Test captain Dean Elgar for a 19-ball duck by later ending Walter’s combative 64 and finishing off the innings by having Bosch (12) caught at mid on.

Walter, who struck Clark for six and also hit eight fours, was eventually eighth out when he miscued a hook to deep square leg.

Essex began badly with Nick Browne (12) edging Worrall to third slip and fellow opener Elgar following in the next over.

Tom Westley (11) lost his off stump to a magnificent ball from James Taylor but Critchley and Walter then added 52 either side of lunch.

Worrall returned to remove Critchley and Worrall struck again as he took Michael Pepper cheaply.

Simon Harmer offered some lower-order resistance, pulling Taylor for four and then on-driving him next ball for another boundary, but on 16 was pinned leg-before by the same bowler.

And Lawes – in his first appearance for two months – looked more dangerous in his second spell and had Snater (six) caught by Taylor at long leg.

Tea was taken immediately after Clark wrapped up the Essex innings but Surrey then lost both openers in quick succession as Dom Sibley was bowled for 11 by an absolute beauty from Porter and Rory Burns (eight) edged Snater to second slip.

Bad light first forced the players off just after 17:00 BST – with Surrey on 36-2 – and on a resumption, Dan Lawrence (10) was adjudged lbw to Bosch.

But only two overs were possible before more bad light drove the players off again. Umpires Peter Hartley and Graham Lloyd then waited patiently for more than an hour until the light improved enough for a final four overs to be bowled.

At stumps, Jamie Smith had moved on to 11 not out, with Ben Foakes unbeaten on four and having already taken a blow on his right hand from a Porter lifter.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters’ Network.

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