Published: 8th October, 2018
Surrey’s batsmen were in fine form throughout the 2018 campaign but what were the best individual efforts across the summer?
Three batsmen passed 1000 runs for Surrey across all three formats – Rory Burns, Ollie Pope & Ben Foakes – but there were also men that were a star turn in just one of the formats.
As a man for all occasions, Club Captain Burns clocked up 1,805 runs with 1359 coming in the Specsavers County Championship with Pope scoring 1264 (986 in the red ball game) and Foakes 1213.
Big hitting Australian Aaron Finch hammered 589 runs at a simply unprecedented average of 147.25 in the Vitality Blast while South African opener Dean Elgar was the key man throughout the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Here are the innings we’ll remember most from the 2018 summer.
Rory Burns v Worcestershire – 193 in the first innings
Four centuries and seven half-centuries to his name in Division One, Burns could realistically have taken every spot on this list.
This was Burns’ first century in this year’s competition, his highest score of the season and although it came in a high-scoring draw, set him up for the dominant season that was to follow both personally and as leader of the Champions.
As the eighth wicket to fall, he was very close to carrying his bat but had to go following a typically dogged innings that lasted 408 balls with 18 fours en route.
Burns enjoyed facing Worcestershire this year, also hitting three figures at New Road with Ageas Bowl & Trent Bridge the locations for his other bat raising moments.
Ollie Pope v Yorkshire – 158 in the first innings
With Surrey 69/4 after two draws and one victory in their first three Specsavers County Championship matches of the season, Pope came to the crease.
What followed was not just Pope’s highest first-class score to date, more than double anyone else in the Surrey side with 158*, but a guiding hand to a victory that kick started the title clinching run of nine consecutive victories.
224 balls of attacking, measured cricket from the bat of the 20-year-old with 27 fours demonstrated his free-scoring nature to all corners of the ground, while maintaining the technique that is so pivotal in red ball cricket in comparison to the innovation required against the white ball.
Whether the fact England captain Joe Root watched much of this innings from mid-off had a bearing on Pope’s call up to the England Test squad less than three months later is anyone’s guess.
Mark Stoneman v Nottinghamshire – 144 in the first innings
Having battled through some tough spells earlier in the campaign, Stoneman looked at his fluent, powerful best at the top of the order by the time Nottinghamshire came to South London in late August.
With no other Surrey batsman passing 50 and the visitors bowled out for less than 150 twice that week, Stoneman’s class shone through in a match in which runs were hard to come by.
18 fours from the left handed opener had him on top of a high quality attack and gave him a boost that saw him go beyond 50 in three of his remaining six complete innings in the Specsavers County Championship.
Jason Roy v Essex – 128 in the second innings
In just his third first-class innings of 2018 and Surrey’s final one of the season, Roy led the fightback for the champions after conceding a 410 run deficit in the first innings of the match.
With the daunting thought that a score of over 500 was necessary for Surrey to have a chance in the match, the England white ball opener certainly wasn’t fazed.
It took just 151 balls for the Surrey Academy graduate to reach his total with 21 boundaries in his innings. Although it couldn’t save the match for Surrey, it did give an exciting glimpse as to what Roy could should he feature in more first-class cricket soon.
Aaron Finch v Sussex – 131 from 79 balls
The joint-highest score in the entire competition and Finch’s first century in what was to prove an entirely unbelievable Vitality Blast campaign for the opener.
Having racked up 222 as a team the previous night, Surrey batted first at Hove and well, it was up to the rest of the top order to simply return the strike to Finch and unleash him on the unfortunate attack on the south coast.
10 fours and seven sixes dismantled a group of bowlers that included the world’s best bowler Rashid Khan and well known faces Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer.
Aaron Finch v Middlesex – 117* from 52 balls
While that previous innings was good – no-one could argue that – this was perhaps the greatest T20 night in the Kia Oval’s history and that was largely due to Finch.
Paul Stirling had hammered a century for our London rivals in the first innings to set the daunting target of 222 from the 20 overs. Finch, along with partner Jason Roy, knocked it off with four overs to spare.
The first ball he faced went for six and things generally went on in a similar vein throughout. He and Roy shared a partnership of 194 that lasted just 13.5 overs but Finch remained to complete the job with compatriot Nic Maddinson.
11 fours and eight sixes – a total of 92 runs – came through Finch’s sheer timing and power that have made him the most feared T20 batsman in the world. This was a night anyone in the capacity Kia Oval crowd that night won’t forget in a hurry.
Will Jacks v Gloucestershire – 121 from 100 balls
Undoubtedly the highlight of Surrey’s disappointing Royal London One-Day Cup campaign was the emergence of Will Jacks after his senior debut in May.
As well as 80 against Glamorgan, Jacks crushed this first hundred in senior cricket against Gloucestershire after opening alongside England’s main man Roy.
Standing tall at the crease, the 19-year-old looked every inch the senior professional with 14 fours and four sixes, including an expertly timed flick into the leg side.
Have we missed your favourite innings? Tweet us at @surreycricket to let us know which one you will remember most.