Surrey’s game against Essex ended as a draw as Alastair Cook made a century on the final afternoon. The England captain was eventually out for 127 as Essex declared on 258-4 and both sides settled for a draw.
Surrey begun the day on their overnight 217-6 with Jason Roy and Chris Tremlett at the crease trailing Essex by 89. Tymal Mills made an immediate breakthrough when he bowled Tremlett for 6 and two balls later he dismissed Jade Dernbach without scoring.
Roy struck David Masters for 14 in an over including a flat six into the OCS Stand but he was then LBW to Graham Napier for 46. With Zafar Ansari unable to bat Surrey were all out for 237 and Essex led by 69.
Cook and Jaik Mickleburgh once again gave the visitors a solid start to their second innings with the England captain playing fluently particularly off his legs. Matthew Dunn was brought into the attack from the Vauxhall End and once again he made the breakthrough having Mickleburgh caught behind for 20.
Cook continued to play nicely alongside Tom Westley and they guided Essex to lunch with the scoreboard reading 82-1 with Cook unbeaten on 40. After the interval the England captain moved to his fifty from 90 deliveries and Westley played fluently as the second wicket partnership developed in attractive fashion.
Westley had moved onto 42 when he offered no shot to a delivery from Dernbach that nipped back and knocked out his middle stump to leave Essex 128-2. Cook continued to move through his collection of shots driving and pulling to great effect as Ravi Bopara dropped anchor at the other end.
Cook dominated the afternoon session and he brought up an accomplished century from 160 deliveries with a single from Roy into the legside. Together the Essex pair took the visitors to tea with a lead of 273 as Cook went to the interval unbeaten on 106 and Bopara 28*.
After tea Sibley claimed his maiden First Class wicket when he bowled Bopara with a googly for 42. And Rory Burns then ended Cook’s fine innings when he bowled the England skipper for 127. And when Essex declared on 258 for 4 the players shook hands as Surrey picked up nine points and Essex claimed 11 points for the draw.
Surrey will now turn their attentions to the start of the LV=County Championship game against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday.