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

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk