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Surrey, who last won the competition in 2018, took just 19.4 overs on the final day to complete a memorable win that consolidates their position at the top of Division One.
They face Warwickshire on Monday at the Oval before the Championship goes on hiatus until September. With Lancashire beating Northamptonshire and Hampshire in the frame to win at Gloucestershire, this was an important win for Surrey that comes fresh from a remarkable victory late on the fourth day at Scarborough last week.
The victory over Essex was built on an outstanding unbeaten 150 from Will Jacks, who helped them recover from 112 for seven on day two to a lead of 48 on first innings.
Dan Worrall then took his second five-wicket haul of the match to bowl Essex out for 208, setting up a target of 161.
They lost Rory Burns and Hashim Amla on the third evening, before completing the job on Friday morning. Nightwatch Tom Lawes finished 32 not out, while Jamie Overton – promoted to No5 – smashed 21 from 12 balls. When Overton was caught on the fence, Ollie Pope came out and reverse swept his first ball for four to win the match.
“That’s a very pleasing win, especially in the way we chased down 161,” said Burns. “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.”