Essex 53-1 need 253 to beat Surrey
Alastair Cook was out on the stroke of lunch as Essex, bidding to go top of the Specsavers County Championship Division One table by beating Surrey at Guildford, reached 53 for 1 at the interval in pursuit of a win target of 253 from a minimum of 83 overs.
Cook, on 31, and having just driven Ravi Rampaul to the cover boundary, was drawn into another off drive and edged to Scott Borthwick at second slip. Nick Browne was 18 not out.
Previously, there had been few alarms for Cook and Browne, the Essex openers, as they saw off Mark Footitt and Sam Curran’s new ball bursts and also dealt comfortably with the early introduction of Surrey captain Gareth Batty’s off spin.
Ben Foakes finished unbeaten on 65, from 149 balls, in Surrey’s second innings 288, and the home side added just 35 runs to their overnight 253 for 7 before the innings ended in a rush of poor shots and crazy running.
Stuart Meaker drove a half-volley from left arm paceman Neil Wagner to extra cover to go for 14, and two balls later Rampaul clipped the same bowler to Ryan ten Doeschate, who was stationed at backward square leg.
Foakes was then left stranded when he drove Wagner down the ground, looking for two, but Dan Lawrence moved quickly to his right at long off to field and return to the bowler and there was never any chance of a second run. Footitt, however, turning blind, set off for the second even though Foakes had clearly decided against it, and Wagner lobbed the ball down the pitch for keeper James Foster to whip off the bails with Footitt helpless in mid-pitch.