Patel ton puts leaders Surrey in command over Essex

Vitality County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day three)

Surrey 262: Smith 100 & 278: Patel 107, Smith 70; Bosch 3-57

Essex 180: Walter 64; Clark 3-33 & 21-2: Clark 2-7

Essex (3 pts) need 340 runs to beat Surrey (4 pts) with eight wickets remaining

Match scorecard

Ryan Patel’s brilliant 107 built on Jamie Smith’s classy 70 and enabled Surrey to set Essex a formidable 361 to win the top-of-the-table County Championship clash at the Kia Oval.

The visitors were 21-2 by stumps, with Nick Browne edging Jordan Clark to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and Eathan Bosch bowled by Clark for one.

Patel thumped paceman Shane Snater for two legside sixes and hit Simon Harmer’s off-spin into the Bedser Stand during a 125-ball knock as Surrey made 278 in their second innings.

Smith had earlier lit up a stop-start day as he made sure Division One leaders Surrey stayed in control of a vital fixture against second-placed Essex.

With 35 overs lost to bad light and rain, Surrey eventually stretched their 126-run overnight lead to 360 via first Smith and then a 65-run seventh wicket partnership between Patel and Clark (30).

Smith’s opening day 100 did much to take Surrey to 262 in their first innings and, resuming on 11, the player selected at the weekend to be England’s new Test wicketkeeper again showed his sublime stroke-making.

After a fifth re-start of the day at 2.38pm there was at last a prolonged period of play, having begun day three on 44 for three.

Smith moved smoothly past fifty, despite seeing Foakes fall for 13 when he edged Snater and was smartly held above his head at second slip by Harmer.

Sai Sudharsan helped Smith add 45 for the fifth wicket, taking Surrey’s lead beyond 200.

Smith greeted left-arm seamer Paul Walter’s first ball by pulling it straight to deep square-leg.

When Sudharsan fell for 12 in the next over, thin-edging Bosch behind, Surrey were suddenly 127-6 and Essex had a chance to stay in the contest.

Patel and Clark defied the Essex seamers for almost 20 overs before Jamie Porter dismissed Clark with a catch down at third man for his 500th first-class wicket.

That was quickly followed by Bosch bowling Tom Lawes for a first-ball duck.

Patel then pressed on the accelerator and although James Taylor was bowled sweeping at Harmer, he added 43 alongside Dan Worrall before being bowled by Critchley as last man out.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters' Network.