Cricket: Dominant Surrey rush to title

Nottinghamshire 115 & 233 Surrey 199 & 153-0 Surrey win by 10 wickets

SURREY STORMED to their first County Championship for 28 years in double-quick time last night. The openers Mark Butcher and Ian Ward savaged the Nottinghamshire attack with a murderous blitz which saw them get the 150 runs needed off just 22.4 overs.

It was a distillation of the attacking, attractive cricket Surrey have endeavoured to play for the last few seasons when they have frequently threatened but have equally often failed to deliver.

Last night their delirious fans were chanting "We are the champions" long after the sun had set. There was an element of symmetry to the lifting of the title in that Surrey's present president, Micky Stewart, was captain of the 1971 side, and the year before his team had finished fifth, just as Surrey did last summer.

Back at the beginning of the 1970s the title was only clinched during the final match, but this season Adam Hollioake's men have managed it with two matches remaining. During the last one, against Yorkshire at The Oval, Surrey have announced that bar prices will be fixed at 1971 prices in the Members', which means a pint of lager should cost around 15p.

But yesterday it was bubbly that flowed after some champagne cricket from Butcher and Ward, who both finished with unbeaten half centuries. There were 23 runs on the board after three overs, and it was slaughter as the pair smashed the bowlers around the ground to wrap it up in 95 minutes. Butcher's 81 not out included 13 stunning boundaries, although it was Ward who had the honour of driving the winning boundary.

Then came the presentation of the PPP healthcare Trophy - which had been sitting in the Prince of Wales Room at The Oval since early yesterday - and a cheque for pounds 100,000.

Surrey's achievement eclipsed a fine century by Usman Afzaal. The Nottinghamshire left-hander was only the second batsman to take a championship hundred off the Surrey attack this season, the first being Essex's Paul Prichard in May.

It was a gritty, gutsy innings although not without chances, but that made it all the more worthy. As nervy as he appeared when confronted by the spin twins Ian Salisbury and Saqlain Mushtaq, the former England Under-19 all-rounder overcame that and ignored every edge as he battled to the third first-class hundred of his career, managing to fiddle, diddle, dab and jab as he got on to the front foot whenever he was given the chance.

Afzaal was also a major contribution to Saqlain's first three-figure return of the season before he became one of Salisbury's four victims, and during his near four-and-a-half-hour stay he shared in a valuable 110-run stand for the third wicket with the veteran Paul Johnson either side of lunch. While those two were at the crease there was every chance that Nottinghamshire would drag the match into a third day.

Unfortunately Johnson had a rush of blood and aimed a wild heave at Saqlain's mystery ball with the ritual result - he was bowled. There was little left in the Nottinghamshire cupboard after that and the spinners had dusted it bare by the start of the 11th over after tea. Saqlain finished with 4 for 100 and Salisbury a commendable 4 for 66.

Surrey, 199 for 8 overnight, lost Saqlain in the first over to give Vasbert Drakes his fourth wicket, then Mark Patterson tried a hopeless single in a bid for at least one batting point.

Champions Surrey, page 23

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot