It took Surrey 19.4 final day overs to complete a six-wicket victory against Essex at the Kia Oval that keeps them on top of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One table with a sixth win from ten matches.
Resuming their second innings on 85 for 2, still requiring 76 more runs, Surrey lost just opener Ryan Patel and all-rounder Jamie Overton before clinching a 22-point triumph when they reached 162 for 4.
Patel, on 22 overnight, took his highly valuable but largely defensive and near four-hour knock to 38 before playing back to off spinner Simon Harmer and edging a ball that turned and bounced to keeper Adam Rossington.
Jamie Overton, promoted up the order on Patel’s dismissal in the day’s 16th over, soon responded by swinging Matt Critchley’s leg breaks over mid wicket for six.
And the big all-rounder also launched Critchley for another huge six over wide mid wicket before being caught off the same bowler for 21, at long off, in trying to end the match with one more blow.
Nightwatchman Tom Lawes, who on 1 was dropped at third slip off Shane Snater in the fifth over of the morning, played some excellent strokes of his own to finish 32 not out from 54 balls.
Lawes, the 19-year old all-rounder making just his fifth first-class appearance, clipped Snater through mid wicket for four and then skipped down the pitch to drive Harmer straight for six to show his capability with bat in hand.
Ollie Pope, who replaced Overton, reverse-swept the first ball he faced, from Harmer, for four to complete Surrey’s victory after 80 minutes’ play on the final day.
Surrey, who began this round of games 15 points ahead of second-placed Hampshire, now face 2021 champions Warwickshire at the Oval next week and – with only four games left for them to play in this summer’s competition – look in good shape to repeat their own 2018 championship triumph.
Essex take five points from the game.
Surrey captain Rory Burns said: “That’s a very pleasing win, especially in the way we chased down 161. It could have been a slightly awkward morning today, but to get over the line in the way we did was outstanding.
“All the faster bowlers were brilliant for us in this match. Dan Worrall, of course, takes the plaudits for his 11 wickets but the way they all bowled as a unit was great for me to see.
“Will Jacks was obviously the other big performance for us, and for him to read the game situation as well as he did in our first innings is a real feather in his cap. It was interesting that both the first innings in this match followed a similar course, with Will’s 150 turning it around for us in the same way that Adam Rossington’s 100 did for Essex.
“From my position, it is great to see so many different players putting their hand up and getting a job done for us as we go from game to game. Young Tom Lawes, for instance, has come in and performed really well in the matches he has played recently. We were a bit like that as a team last season, to be fair, but it’s even more apparent this season.
“We have another important match coming up against Warwickshire next Monday and winning this game as we did has given all the players an extra half day’s rest if you like, which is important. If we can do well next week then it really sets us up for September’s championship run-in.”
Essex captain Tom Westley said: “It is obviously disappointing to lose, but we competed well with them for a lot of this game.
“There were two particular moments where we lost the contest – the first was Will Jacks getting to 150 not out and getting them into a first innings lead and then that period yesterday when we lost six second innings wickets for 37 runs.
“It would be nice if we had a return fixture against Surrey at Chelmsford, but the schedule for this season means we only get to play them once which is a shame.”