Surrey’s Second XI are this week in action at Hove against their counterparts from Sussex with nine professionals set to take part.
After a defeat against Essex and draw with Yorkshire, Surrey were hoping to record their first four-day Second XI Championship victory of the season. The nine professional squad players are taking part in the match are: Matt Dunn, Laurie Evans, Ben Geddes, Will Jacks (Days 1/2), Nicholas Kimber, Conor McKerr, Daniel Moriarty (Days 1/2), Ryan Patel and James Taylor.
There is also opportunity for Academy pair George Ealham, as well as triallists Justin Broad, a batsman, Yousef Majid, a slow left arm bowler, and wicket keeper Billy Mead.
This report was updated daily throughout the week but for a closer look at the action, click here for a scorecard with live clips.
After losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, Surrey spent a long day in the field as Sussex racked up 390/7 from their 94 overs.
There were two wickets apiece for James Taylor (2/79) and Conor McKerr (2/93) and an unbeaten century for young Sussex player Oliver Carter, who ended the day 110*.
The reason for the unusually high media attendance at the game came for a bat late in the afternoon as England seamer Jofra Archer, who has been out of action in recent months with a hand injury in recent months, came to the crease and smashed 35 from 46 balls, with three fours and two sixes, before being snaffled by Laurie Evans in the gully.
Ryan Patel was Surrey’s star of Day 2 with an unbeaten 94 as part of Surrey’s 215/3 in response to 487 all out for the hosts.
Sussex added 97 for the final three wickets in the first session of the day. Moriarty took all of them, including that of Oliver Carter who was the last man out caught on the boundary for 160.
Patel opened up for Surrey alongside new professional Ben Geddes. Geddes went for nine when he turned an unexpected full toss straight to mid wicket. Will Jacks came, hit five boundaries, and was out for 21 attempting another on the drive. Laurie Evans was also expansive, hitting five fours and one six, before he went for 46. Nico Reifer was Patel’s partner at stumps, on 32 not out.
After Patel reached the three figures, Surrey eventually made 410 before Sussex were 90/3 at the close, leading by 167.
Patel’s century was the first key moment of the day and he carried on to 126 before he eventually mistimed a leg side shot off slow left armer Joe Pocklington. Nico Reifer went for 45, thanks to a wicket in ducker from Jofra Archer, but there were valuable lower order contributions from George Ealham (44), Billy Mead (24) and James Taylor (23).
Matt Dunn looked to have Surrey in the ascendancy early in Sussex’s second innings, removing both openers with the hosts still on just 17. A solid partnership from captain Will Beer & wicket keeper Alastair Orr stabilised Sussex but a diving catch at slip from Ryan Patel ended that partnership just before the close to set up an exciting final day on the south coast.
The expected draw was confirmed on Friday but not without 10 wickets going down as Surrey ended their second innings on 153/5 once Sussex had declared on 243/8.
There was a wicket each for professionals Matt Dunn and Nicholas Kimber but it was slow left armer Yousef Majid who shone with the ball, claiming three wickets including that of England man Jofra Archer.
Ryan Patel again top scored, this time with a run-a-ball 60 but struggled for support with Justin Broad making 21 and Nico Reifer 19 as the next top scores. It soon became clear however that there was no chance of a result so after 45 overs, both teams bumped fists and the match was drawn.