The 2023 Season - May - Kia Oval Skip to main content

May sees Surrey face local rivals in the County Championship and the return of the Vitality Blast.

Beating Essex at Chelmsford will be Surrey’s first task in May.

The LV County Championship winners of 2017 and 2019 play host at Chelmsford from Thursday 4 May.

Surrey’s last success at the ground came in 2018, winning by 10 wickets on their way to the title, but 12 months later the tables were turned decisively when Essex triumphed by an innings and 40 runs to reclaim top spot. In 2020’s pandemic-affected season, the hosts won by 169 runs but there has been no first-class clash between the sides at New Writtle Street since then.

The first week of May also offers two chances to watch South East Stars, who head to Bristol on Bank Holiday Monday (1 May) to take on Western Storm and four days later take the shorter trip to Radlett for a clash with Sunrisers, both taking place in the Rachael Hayhoe Flint Trophy. There’s little respite after that either, making the long voyage to Scarborough for an encounter with Northern Diamonds.

Back in the LV County Championship first division, The Kia Oval will be preparing for the resumption of Surrey’s duel with London rivals Middlesex following a break of two years, on Thursday 11th May.

When the sides last met in four-day combat, in 2021, the competition was divided into three conferences in the initial stage and Middlesex enjoyed an overwhelming victory by 10 wickets at Lord’s. The return proved an absorbing battle which saw Middlesex seemingly skating to a double on the final afternoon at 219-2, chasing 280. Then Kemar Roach’s burst, earning him 5-86, dramatically changed the game and gave his side a sniff before it finished at 250-6.

There’s a decidedly local feel to May given Kent head to SE11 a week later, their bowlers doubtless keen to avoid the sore feet they suffered last year.

The first dose came at Beckenham in May when Surrey amassed 671-9dec, setting a new record when six players – Ryan Patel (76), Ollie Pope (96), Ben Foakes (91), Jamie Overton (93), Sam Curran (78), Colin de Grandhomme (66) and Jordan Clark (54) – passed 50 without reaching a century. Kent were forced to follow on but rain on the final day terminated Surrey’s hopes of victory.

Six weeks later at The Kia Oval, Surrey racked up 673-7dec thanks to Hashim Amla (124), Ben Geddes (124), Sam Curran’s 126 – his maiden first-class century – and Will Jacks (103no). But they were thwarted this time by Daniel Bell-Drummond making centuries in each innings, as Kent followed on again, for the first time in his career.

After six Championship matches in seven weeks, there’s a sudden change of gear with the launch of the Vitality Blast. Surrey launch their campaign against Middlesex at Lord’s on Thursday May 25, hosting Kent at the Kia Oval 24 hours later. It’s a busy bank holiday weekend, as Sussex arrive on Sunday 28th, followed by trips to Hampshire (Wed 31st) and Somerset two days later.

The Charlotte Edwards Cup sees South East Stars host The Blaze at Beckenham on Saturday May 20, away to Southern Vipers three days later and then moving in to London for a meeting with Sunrisers at Lord’s (Thursday 25th) and Northern Diamonds at the Kia Oval within 24 hours. Then it’s off to Taunton for a match against Western Storm on Sunday 28th.

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