Surrey Second XI travel to Billericay CC in Essex this week, starting their Second XI Championship campaign.
After suffering defeat to Hampshire in a friendly match last week, Surrey will be hoping to get the competitive summer off to a good start. Eight professional squad players are taking part in the match: Laurie Evans, Ryan Patel, Will Jacks, Nico Reifer, Liam Plunkett, Conor McKerr, Daniel Moriarty and James Taylor.
There are also opportunities to impress for Academy pair Ben Geddes – who has already scored runs this season in an inter squad game at the Kia Oval and in last week’s Second XI outing – and George Ealham. The side is rounded out by triallists Justin Broad and wicket keeper Billy Mead, who retains his place from last week.
This report will be updated daily throughout the week but for those who want to follow the action, click here for a scorecard with live clips.
Surrey won the toss and batted but found themselves in early trouble after Laurie Evans, Ryan Patel and Will Jacks all fell early to leave them 36/3 in the seventeenth over.
Nico Reifer (13) and Justin Broad (11) added 25 but then fell in consecutive overs as Surrey slipped to 61/5 before Liam Plunkett (26) and Ben Geddes (68) added 45 for the sixth wicket.
Geddes continued his recent run of good form, leading the charge in the afternoon session and forming partnerships with George Ealham (14), Conor McKerr (10) and Dan Moriarty (24*), punishing bad balls and cover driving with power and style against an experienced Essex attack that features Matt Quinn, Aaron Beard, Dutch international Shane Snater and Jack Plom, an England U19s seamer who was briefly on loan at Surrey last summer.
Surrey ended on 231 all out, with Essex batting for 13 overs and reaching 49/0 at the close, leaving the Surrey bowlers looking forward to getting stuck back into their hosts tomorrow.
Essex batted throughout the entirety of Day 2, ending on 354/3 thanks to centuries from openers Varun Chopra & Will Buttleman.
Chopra, on 109, was the first to go with Essex on 206/0. Will Jacks was the partnership breaker when Chopra attempted to scoop the off-spinner behind the stumps but only succeeded in finding the gloves of wicket keeper Billy Mead.
As the saying goes, one brings two. Feroze Khushi got in a mix up early on and was run out thanks to the good work of Conor McKerr in the field. Keeper batsman Buttleman reached his century and made it to 112 before skying McKerr to mid on, where James Taylor took the catch.
Another partership set in at that point with Essex captain Michael Pepper reaching the end of the day on 70 not out, joined by Josh Rymell on 29.
Ending Day 3 on 87/5 in our second innings and still trailing by 263 runs, it’s a tall order for Surrey to save this match against Essex.
Resuming on 354/3 in the morning, there were big lower order contributions from Aaron Beard (78) and Shane Snater (39) that took Essex up to 581/9 when they declared. Having bowled 43.4 overs, Daniel Moriarty was the leading wicket taker for Surrey with four wickets to his name. Also racking up lots of overs were seamers Liam Plunkett, Conor McKerr and James Taylor of which McKerr took two wickets and Taylor one. The final wicket from the hand was for Will Jacks.
Surrey’s response got off to a rocky start with Laurie Evans & Justin Broad both going for single figures. Nico Reifer lasted much longer but found scoring tough and was eventually out lbw for 21 before first innings leading run scorer Ben Geddes suffered the same fate but for 0 this time. Wicket keeper Billy Mead came and went for two so it was Academy player George Ealham who was left with Ryan Patel at stumps. Patel reached his half-century just before the close and will resume on Day 4 with 52 to his name, including seven fours and one six.
Needing a second innings total of 350 just to make Essex bat a second time and starting the final day on 87/5, Surrey had it all to do. They were all out for 200 before the end of the morning session confirming the defeat by an innings & 150 runs.
Ryan Patel top scored with 74, adding 22 onto his overnight score. The best performer on the day for Surrey however was Conor McKerr who was unbeaten for 58 when he ran out of partners. He faced 147 balls in that long vigil scoring 10 fours on the way.
We face Yorkshire next week in the 2nd XI Championship, starting at Guildford CC on Monday 26th April.