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Australian paceman Dan Worrall has taken career-best match figures of 11-122 to bowl Surrey to the brink of victory against Essex.
The South Australian's heroics left unbeaten Division One leaders Surrey needing just another 76 runs with eight second-innings wickets in hand to beat Essex at the Kia Oval.
Worrall's 5-66 was Surrey's stand-out bowling performance for the second time in the game as Essex were dismissed for 208 to leave Rory Burns' team chasing 161 to record a sixth County Championship victory of the season.
By stumps on day three, Surrey had reached 2-85 with Burns falling to Simon Harmer's off-spin for a solid 40, and Hashim Amla edging seamer Shane Snater to second slip for 16 three overs from the close.
Opener Ryan Patel held firm with a steadfast 22 not out, from 108 balls, after Worrall had followed up his 6-56 in Essex's first innings of 271 with another high-class effort in combination with West Indies paceman Kemar Roach, who finished with 3-58.
Resuming on 2-19, still 29 runs in arrears, Essex lost Tom Westley who was caught behind by Ben Foakes for a 52-ball 32.
Dan Lawrence was lucky to escape when he was dropped by Ollie Pope at second slip without scoring, and that miss haunted Surrey for the next 21 overs as Lawrence and Nick Browne added 65 for the fourth wicket.
Worrall, in particular, troubled both batsmen with his pace and swing but Lawrence also began to take the game to Surrey's bowlers with a number of fine strokes.
It was 19-year-old swing bowler Tom Lawes who started an Essex slump that from 3-130 saw them lose six wickets for 37 runs in just 10 overs.
Browne, wafting at a ball wide of his off stump, edged Lawes to Foakes after battling 101 balls for his 48 before Worrall and Roach combined to send Essex sliding to 9-167.
Eventually, with Simon Harmer unbeaten on 38 from 68 balls, Worrall produced a beauty to hit Jamie Porter's off stump after he had contributed just two from 24 balls to a last wicket partnership of 41 to end the innings.