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Category: Surrey

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The five county cricketers of the year

It’s time to salute the County Championship’s standout players this season: Kumar Sangakkara, Alex Hales, Alex Davies, Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer

• Fans from all 18 counties review the year
Will Macpherson’s verdict on the season

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

It was said that Barry Richards, his career coinciding with South Africa’s isolation, became bored with batting that notch below international as it came so easily to him. Well, it can’t have come much more easily to the South African champion than it came to Kumar Sangakkara, an all-time great of the game, whose powers, at almost 40 and in his last season of first-class cricket, seem not so much undiminished, as enhanced.

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Mark Stoneman: ‘Opening in the Ashes … it’s what you live for’

The Surrey batsman looks to have done enough over the summer to earn his spot on the plane to Australia and be the man to partner Alastair Cook in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on 23 November

Like most top-class English opening batsmen Mark Stoneman has a careful, intense, fidgety kind of quality, even when he’s sitting across a plastic table in the Surrey players’ lounge, having spent the morning reeling off a breezy half-century, the seventh 50-plus score of a stellar county season. Naturally this includes an exceptionally good eye for those moments when its best to sway inside the line and leave well alone. As Stoneman does with the tiniest smile when asked his thoughts on Trevor Bayliss announcing that he had never actually seen him play in the flesh shortly before Stoneman ended up making his Test debut this summer.

“Well, it was fair enough really,” he says. “He’s got a pretty busy job. He’s got to focus on matters at hand and the squad of players that he’s given and managing the situation day to day, trying to win matches with England. If you’ve been in the system all the way through you’re going to be well known maybe. But everyone’s got a different pathway, everyone’s going to mature at different rates and speeds.”

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County cricket talking points: Essex are still unbeaten with one game to play

The side that won promotion a year ago and won the title a fortnight ago looked as if they would suffer their first defeat of the season. But they just keep winning

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Whenever the scoreboard ticked over to 76, the late Brian Johnston would announce that it was “Trombone Time”, so how he would have enjoyed Essex’s win over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. The hosts’ Aussie captain, George Bailey, un-Pontingly enforced the follow-on after the wheels had finally come off in the champions-elects’ annus mirabilis, dismissed for 76 in their first dig. Cue 20-year-old Dan Lawrence’s century, backed up by the old hands, James Foster and Neil Wagner, who posted 82 for the ninth wicket to set an awkward fourth-day target of 185 for a suddenly nervy and much-needed win. The victory fanfares were soon blaring again for Essex, as Sam Cook led the attack with 5-18 to despatch Hampshire for (you guessed it), 76 stretching Essex’s lead at the top of the table to 69 points. They’re just trolling their opponents now.

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County cricket: Middlesex v Lancashire, Surrey v Somerset and more – live!

10.29am BST

Two huge play and misses outside off in the first three balls of the day from Livi…

10.28am BST

Starting on time at Headingley, which is good. But not at the Ageas, because of bad light. I’m convinced Essex won’t lose that game.

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County cricket live: Essex set to seal title plus Surrey v Yorkshire – live!

9.31am BST

Good morning. Today should be the day. Lancashire are in all sorts of trouble at Taunton, where there’s rain on the way. When they fail to win that game – which, surely, surely they won’t win – Essex will be the County Champions for the first time since 1992. To be honest, Essex better win because I have already written 1,000 words on them doing so.

So I’m Will Macpherson and I’m at the sun-drenched Oval to tell you about all that and more. Here, Surrey have Yorkshire following on. Will the pitch break up? Can they force a win? I don’t know if it mean anything, but Andy Hodd just scored a superb overhead kick in Yorkshire’s football match. There’s Div 1 action at Uxbridge too. It’s a tussle for points. Middlesex currently have none.

Related: Wily Ryan ten Doeschate paves way for glorious march of the Essex boys

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County cricket live – Surrey v Yorkshire, Warwickshire v Essex and more!

11.15am BST

As someone has pointed out on twitter: the bowler’s Holden, the batsman’s ….

Congrats to Felix Organ who is making his debut for @hantscricket v @Middlesex_CCC at @UxbridgeCC. Welcome to the PCA pic.twitter.com/spFGFTIm6w

11.11am BST

Morning Stuie!

@willis_macp morning will! Out all day so cmon glos

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County cricket live – Surrey v Yorkshire, Warwickshire v Essex and more!

10.57am BST

News from the Oval is that Mark Stoneman looks in absolutely delightful touch. He’s moved to 18, after back to back boundaries off Sidebottom, through cover point and square-leg.

10.54am BST

Morning Will and chums. Warwickshire lead by 13 after four overs is the optimistic way of looking at things here at sunny-ish Edgbaston, where Jamie Porter has continued his golden season for champions-elect Essex with the early wickets of Sam Hain and Jonathan Trott – both lbw – in his first nine balls.

First one trapped Hain on the back leg as the bat jacknifed down at an awkward angle, then Trott was pinned on the front pad. If there was a day for Ian Bell to end a drought of centuries that goes back to April last year, this is it. Chris Woakes back for the Bears, while Neil Wagner is in for his second spell as the Essex overseas left-armer. Tom Westley plays too.

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County cricket live – Lancashire v Essex, Hampshire v Surrey and more!

10.14am BST

Welcome to Old Trafford for day three of the fourth to last round of county cricket – live! for this fine summer! I’m Will Macpherson and I’m here to guide you through the action from here and the other eight games on offer. There’s some other cricket on offer, apparently, but we need not mention that.

The weather is nice now but nasty later, I’m told. The chances of a result in this Lancashire-Essex game, given the loss of day one, were pretty slim as is, but losing the final session today would end all hope. Haseeb Hameed batted beautifully last night and resumes on 85 this morning. He’s dug his team out of a horrible hole, to be honest.

Related: County cricket: Lancashire v Essex, Surrey v Hampshire and more – live!

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County cricket: Lancashire v Essex, Surrey v Hampshire and more – live!

9.59am BST

That room in the picture ATL is the one that I’m sat in. It’s brightened a touch – wouldn’t think the covers’ll be on for that much longer.

9.58am BST

Good news from Headingley!

Captains out there for the toss.

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County cricket: Surrey v Middlesex, Lancashire v Warwickshire and more – live!

Live updates from around the groundsPing Will an email here; or send him a tweet @willis_macpThe Spin: cherish the slow and steady run accumulators 11.33am BST The rain is very, very light at the Oval, but the full covers are coming on. The forecast i…

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Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone hits double century against Warwickshire

• England prospect scores unbeaten 215 to build massive lead
• Essex bowlers bring leaders back into the game against Somerset

The sense that Liam Livingstone is a rare talent who will end up playing all three formats for England was emphatically strengthened by his brilliant maiden double-century for Lancashire against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.

Livingstone’s unbeaten 215 (from 318 balls with 25 fours and three sixes, one of which – a pull off Olly Stone – brought up his century) leaves Lancashire 284 runs ahead with four first-innings wickets in hand at the game’s halfway stage. A golden opportunity awaits to close the gap on the Division One leaders Essex before their visit to Old Trafford next week. Lancashire will go into that game second, and look the team best placed to haul Essex down.

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County cricket: Surrey v Middlesex, Essex v Somerset and more – live!

12.51pm BST

Wicket! It’s taken an hour and 50 mins, but Middlesex have a wicket. Steven Finn the bowler, his tight line doing for Borthwick who was tempted into driving and caught behind. 89 for three, and Roy in.

12.50pm BST

Essex are 8 for one! Coverton gets Chopra. The lead is three…

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Round-up: Toby Roland-Jones does his best to undo patchwork Surrey

• England bowler takes two early wickets for Middlesex at The Oval
• Essex recover after being bowled out for 159 against Somerset

Had you presented this rather patchwork Surrey XI to Alec Stewart, the director of cricket, back in April, he might just have choked on his tea. Zafar Ansari, Dom Sibley and Mark Footitt are off the staff, Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Stoneman are otherwise engaged, and Tom Curran leads the list of the injured. Thus Ollie Pope and Ryan Patel are debuting as two of four 19-year-olds. And is that really Rikki Clarke?

Having been asked to bowl first Surrey’s thrown-together side did very well indeed to bowl Middlesex out for 247. But then their openers ran into Toby Roland-Jones, returning from and emboldened by his England experience. His four overs before stumps saw Patel (whose medium pace had been better than tidy) hurried into turning to leg gully, then Rory Burns – suddenly the senior batsman – caught behind by a beauty that left him.

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County cricket: Surrey v Middlesex, Essex v Somerset and more – live!

1.05pm BST

Well that’s the first of three sessions done on this glorious Bank Holiday Monday. Here’s your scores on the doors.

Division One:

1.03pm BST

What a player Ryan ten Doeschate is. Came in at 39 for four, but Essex take lunch on 89 for four. Tendo has 35 off 37 with five fours and a six.

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County cricket talking points: Imran Tahir proves worth and Adam Lyth revitalised by record

Derbyshire reach T20 Blast quarter-finals while Yorkshire miss out despite a milestone but can separation by net run rate be made less opaque?

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Fifteen of 18 counties eyed scoreboards anxiously on the last day of the T20 Blast group stages as, after all those weeks of matches, only three (including Durham) had no chance of making the quarter-finals. Is that a testimony to the competitiveness of the format or a condemnation of the foolishness of hijacking high summer for a lot of sound and fury that ultimately signified nothing? Soon we will have two chances to consider that conundrum. Leicestershire won’t be too bothered about such musings as they secured their spot in the last eight with a victory over the team of the season (so far) Nottinghamshire, who had already topped the North Group. The most fantastic Mr Foxes proved to be Cameron Delport and Matt Pillans, the former making a century, the latter defending seven off the last over. Both are South African-born, somewhat nondescript (for this level) players, whose faces will not be screaming out of the knockout stages marketing posters. Good on them but also, I’m afraid, as the young people say, meh.

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County cricket talking points: Ross Whiteley hits six sixes … and loses

Ross Whiteley scored 37 in one over for Worcestershire but David Willey’s 118 helped Yorkshire win the match and climb to the top of their T20 Blast group

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Kevin Pietersen’s Surrey (see what I did there) top the South Group after a couple of strange matches at The Oval. On Wednesday, a raucous (but not too raucous) capacity crowd saw him almost single-handedly get Surrey up to 150, a score that proved good enough on a slow pitch exploited with Yorkshire nous by Gareth Batty, whose four overs brought him 2-19. But back to Pietersen, as always seems to be the case. Having been badly dropped at cow corner by Dan Lawrence and “running” like a stiff Alastair Cook, he appeared to decide to hit sixes and five of the match’s eight flew off his bat. In more ways than one, he played like a right-handed version of Chris Gayle – whether that is a good look these days remains to be seen. It worked in this match, no other batsman crossing 30, as Essex fell 11 short of their target.

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County championship: Hampshire v Surrey and more – live!

12.17pm BST

Abbott into the sixth over of a fine spell. Impressive in this heat. Surrey 156 for three, with Burns on 72. He’s looked good and recently played a delicious flick through midwicket off Crane.

12.15pm BST

So the Champions are on the move. Helm gets Porterfield caught at second slip and Warwickshire are eight for one. Given the scores were level on first innings, I’ll let you do the maths.

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County Championship roundup: George Bailey helps Hampshire take revenge

• Hants post fifth highest score of 648-7 declared; Surrey 113-1
• Stevie Eskinazi hits 178no in Middlesex’s 302-6 v Warwickshire

Hampshire have not forgotten about the two days last July when, at a sweltering Ageas Bowl, Surrey posted 637 for seven declared to set up a dramatic win. It was, for Hampshire’s attack, filthy toil and, as one Surrey player admitted, they had continued batting after tea on the second day “just to piss them off”.

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County cricket: Jimmy Adams in awe of James Vince as they gang up on Surrey

• Vince catches the eye while Hampshire duo both make centuries
• Somerset fight back against Yorkshire after captain drops himself

“He’s nice to bat with but you can stand at the other end and feel a little inadequate,” said one Hampshire centurion, Jimmy Adams, of another, James Vince, at the end of a day dominated by the pair. They had put on 161, bullying Surrey after they had worked hard to dismiss Lewis McManus, bowled by a snorting, swinging Sam Curran yorker, and Rilee Rossouw, caught at second slip off Curran’s brother, Tom.

Related: County cricket: James Vince pushes England case with Hampshire century

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County cricket: Surrey v Hampshire and more – live!

10.48am BST

Four changes for @NorthantsCCC from last week. No Hughes, Kleinveldt, Azhar or Gleeson. Rossington, Crook, Buck & White in #bbccricket

10.46am BST

Middlesex have left Nick Gubbins out, which seems like a bit of madness to me, but oh well. Been some funny thinking in their title defence…

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