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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border