Ryan ten Doeschate denies Surrey historic win as Essex squeeze home by one wicket

Essex 477 for 8 dec (Westley 134, Harmer 102 *, Vijay 80, Wheater 68 *) and 134 for 9 (ten Doeschate 53 *, Morkel 4-28) win Surrey 67 (Porter 4-26, Cook 4-27) and 541 (Roy 128, Pope 114, Stoneman 86, Jacks 53, Coles 5-123) for a wicket

The presidents of the first class counties holding a meeting at The Oval on this last day of the 2018 season. One would like to think that they could not pay much attention to their agenda. One hopes that they have looked outside and that the County Championship offers its last blazon of the summer. One hopes that they have seen Essex beat Surrey through a window and realized that they have an invaluable game in their hands. And there is no harm in waiting for these things; Hope and reflection are the staples of cricket lovers in the fall.

However, during almost all this extraordinary day there was no time for the gentility of elegy or remembrance. Instead, there was only the battle sheet, since Essex fired Surrey by 541 and then sought to score the 132 races they needed to inflict a first defeat of the season on the 2018 champions. No team in the history of cricket First class had conceded a first-entry deficit of 410, as Surrey had done here, and then won. Only the shadows of the afternoon suggested the end of September; the cricket was so intense that he could have played in mid-June with the title still in danger.

The highlight of this extraordinary game was that Essex captain Ryan tented against the attack of three Surrey men. Inspired by the final challenge of defending just 131 before receiving the Championship trophy, Morne Morkel, Jade Dernbach and Amar Virdi had gone to work without restrictions. On Harleyford Road, 436 went to Paddington for Marble Arch and 185 to Lewisham for Denmark Hill. Inside the Oval, a thousand watched in the strong sunlight of the afternoon when Morkel straightened one to knock down the stump of M Vijay. Then Martin Saggers agreed that Nick Browne had beaten Virdi to Rikki Clarke in the slip. The batter was not convinced, but the visitors were 25 for 2, even more than 100 runs from their goal.

Like many bandits before them, Essex received a severe attack of nerves. Dan Lawrence beat Dernbach to Clarke in the slip and Ravi Bopara left miserably when he was caught in the short leg before Virdi: 47 for 4. Eight races later the Dernbach / Clarke combination got rid of Tom Westley for 20 but suddenly , ten Doeschate started a counterattack – attacking Virdi, who conceded 30 three-run runs while being swept and swept towards the fence.

Now a crowd that had appeared in part to see the trophy presented and the champagne properly sprayed were fully occupied in the final stages of an epic competition. Ten Arechate and Adam Wheater led the score to 97, but Wheater then beat Morkel to Ryan Patel in the second rejection. Two balls later Simon Harmer took a trap from Ben Foakes of Morkel, who four overs later claimed his 59th and final wicket of the season when he had Jamie Porter lbw by 4: 111 to 8.

The Surrey players celebrate with the championship trophy Getty Images

Matt Coles put 13 more with ten Doeschate before being called by his captain for a third race he had no hope of doing. Ten Doeschate, as you see, can run like the wind; Coles can not. Mark Stoneman stopped the ball in the limit and dragged it back to Will Jacks, who threw it to Foakes. Coles was exhausted by the length of a long jump hole and left with the air puffed up around him.

Now Matt Quinn joined ten Doeschate and the fast bowlers from Surrey made one last effort. The singles and the two ran. Morkel did not skimp. Your devotion to this county could not be greater if you were born in Virginia Water instead of Vereenging. He shook Quinn's helmet and hit him in the hand, but he could not fire him. Then, ten Doeschate elbowed Dernbach to make a long leg, and both the game and the season were made.

The players met in the midfield and exchanged handshakes. As the cricket players of the counties have done on countless occasions for more than a century, they agreed on how incomparable this game is. Coles, who had previously completed a five-field visit to establish his team's victory, offered his congratulations to the Surrey players for their title. Rory Burns and his colleagues then devoted themselves to serious celebrations. Unfortunately, however, Colin Graves, the president of the ECB, was not available to present the trophy to Surrey. This was a shame. Graves has many responsibilities, but presenting such worthy champions with his prize was an honor he should have accepted and enjoyed. His absence did not give him credit.

But maybe it hardly mattered. The thousands that gathered in front of one of the best cricket pavilions did not fail Graves and neither did the Surrey players. However, they will remember one of the great summers of their lives, a summer that ended with a glorious contest between two sides, none of which spared no effort. If this was the day when the 2018 season retreated from our sight and took its place in our memory, we can at least be certain that it will occupy a place of honor.

For our cricket ended, as played, under a cloudless blue sky. It ended on a day when only one game was played. Both things were totally appropriate. They brought a fitting sense of closure to an idyll that, regardless of its rumors offstage, has been one to treasure. It will take more than the absence of a man, however grandiose, to remove the gold from that gingerbread.

source:- espncricinfo.com

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