Surrey secure 21st County Championship title with game to spare

Surrey secured their 21st County Championship title after thrashing Yorkshire by 10 wickets inside three days at The Oval.

Surrey’s emphatic home win – and title rivals Hampshire’s shock defeat to Kent – saw the south London side become county champions for the first time since 2018.

Gareth Batty’s side have won eight of their 13 completed red-ball matches this summer, with the other five ending in draws.

Unbeaten Surrey face Lancashire at Old Trafford next week where they will receive the County Championship trophy.

Ollie Pope scored a stunning century as Surrey chased a title-clinching victory against Yorkshire as the home side made 333 after being inserted.

England’s No. 3 – who finished on 136 from 131 balls – found support from Jordan Clark (55) and Ryan Patel (41).

Tom Lawes then took four wickets as Yorkshire stumbled to 179 all out, a deficit of 154.

Having avoided the follow-on, Yorkshire were asked to bat again and improved slightly on their first-innings effort to make 208, with former England players Adam Lyth and Dom Bess scoring 46 and 43 respectively.

That left Surrey needing just 55 to win the match and clinch their third County Championship title of the 21st century, which they did with the loss of no wickets, with captain Rory Burns hitting the winning runs.

Despite Surrey’s dominance this summer, it appeared as though the title race would go down to the final game of the season but Hampshire’s defeat at home to Kent ended their challenge.

Hampshire were bowled out for just 57 on day one – Nathan Gilchrist taking 6-23 – after the Spitfires were restricted to 165.

Jack Leaning then made a superb century to effectively bat Hampshire out of the game as the hosts lost by 77 runs.

Kent’s stunning victory significantly boosts their hopes of avoiding relegation, with either the Spitfires, Warwickshire or Somerset set to join bottom-placed Gloucestershire in Division Two next season.

Elsewhere in Division One, Lancashire recovered from being 7-6 in their second innings to beat Essex in a low-scoring thriller at Chelmsford.

26 wickets fell on the opening day, with Essex bowled out for 107 in response to Lancashire’s 131.

The visitors were 5-5 and 7-6 on day two with Shane Snater taking 6-10 in eight overs, but managed to get up to 73, setting Essex 98 to win.

Essex reached 24 without loss but George Balderson’s hat-trick blew the game wide open, with the hosts eventually falling 38 runs short.

More to follow…

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