LV County Championship - Division Two
Essex 401 (R N ten Doeschate 159 no, C J Jordan 4-84, T E Linley 4-77) & 201-3 (V Chopra 85, H M Amla 81 no) v Surrey 352-8 dec (S J Walters 142, U Afzaal 116, D D Masters 4-86)
Surrey (11pts) drew with Essex (10pts)
Surrey and Essex were forced to settle for a draw in their LV County Championship Second Division match at Guildford on Saturday.
Surrey resumed their first innings on 288-4 in the morning and battled their way up to 352-8 before acting captain Stewart Walters declared half an hour before lunch with his side still 49 in arrears.
Walters had earlier made 142 - doubling his previous best in first-class cricket - before preventing the visitors their chance to claim maximum bowling points by his declaring.
Essex then got off to a terrible start in their second innings when John Maunders was trapped leg before wicket by Jade Dernbach for a duck.
After the break Varun Chopra missed out on a hundred when, on 85 from 123 balls, he clipped back a return catch to leg-spinner Chris Schofield.
The last Essex casualty of the day and the match proved to be Matthew Walker (21), who fended meekly to second slip, but it mattered little once the light started to fade soon afterwards.
Essex closed their second innings on 201 for three, leading by 250 runs overall, but they were outscored by 11 points to 10.
Stewart Walters and Usman Afzaal both reached three figures for Surrey in the limited amount of play that was possible on day three at Guildford.
Stand-in skipper Walters moved on his personal total from 86 overnight to 111 not out before heavy rain arrived to end proceedings early.
However, the Australian-born batsman did have one major slice of luck on his way to his century. A miscued drive on 90 seemed certain to end his innings but somehow Matt Walker spilled the simple chance at mid-on.
Afzaal moved through to his 30th first-class hundred from 163 balls but perished before the lunch break, David Masters getting the breakthrough.
The wicket ended a superb fourth-wicket stand worth 222 and also proved the last piece of action on Friday, rain arriving to wash out the final two sessions.
Ryan ten Doeschate made it to 150 to steer Essex beyond 400, but Surrey are in good shape in response after closing day two on 219-3.
Ten Doeschate added a further 54 runs to his overnight score but was left stranded on 159 not out when Essex concluded their innings on 401.
After a sticky start, Surrey's Usman Afzaal and skipper Stewart Walters steadied the ship with an unbroken 153-run stand for the fourth wicket putting the hosts on 219-3 at the close.
Debutant Tim Linley and Chris Jordan cleaned up the final three Essex wickets to return figures of 4-77 and 4-84 respectively, and leave ten Doeschate stranded after a brilliant unbeaten 159.
Surrey slipped to 66-3 in response with Michael Brown, Jonathan Batty and Mark Ramprakash all going, but Walters and Afzaal rebuilt the innings, making 86 and 80 not out respectively.
Ryan ten Doeschate's first century of the season allowed Essex to reach 317-7 on day one against Sussex at Guildford.
The Dutch international strode to the middle with his side deep in trouble at 116-5, having opted to bat first at the Woodbridge Road Ground in Guildford.
Stewart Walters led Surrey for the first time in the County Championship, making him the second uncapped player to captain Surrey this season and their fourth skipper in as many months.
Chris Jordan (3-60), bowling at a lively pace, claimed three wickets as Essex's top-order subsided. But James Foster and ten Doeschate combined for a sixth-wicket stand of 98 in 22 overs.
Ten Doeschate enjoyed two lives when, with his score on three Chris Schofield dropped a low slip chance off Nel then, when on 30, wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty blotted his copybook by downing a comfortable chance to his right off Dernbach (1-61).
Foster's fortune ran out on 48 when he carved a short ball into the gully to finally give Nel (1-76) something to celebrate on his 32nd birthday.
The second new ball cut short Graham Napier's cameo of 43 when he rocked back aiming to force a short one from Linley (2-67) through cover only to be caught by Murtagh, overhead and leaping to his right.
There was just time for ten Doeschate to reach three figures when he pulled a short one from Schofield. He was still there at stumps too, unbeaten on 105 from 150 balls, including 11 fours.