Essex 259 for 9 (Webster 69, Thain 63, McKerr 4-55, Virdi 3-38) were defeated by Surrey 261 for 8 (Patel 117) by two wickets.
In order to lead Surrey to their second Metro Bank One-Day Cup triumph of the year and send Essex home with the Group A wooden spoon, Ryan Patel scored his fourth List A century.
After a dismal season for both counties, Patel’s 117 off 119 balls was not enough to lift Surrey more than one spot over Essex.
As Surrey chased down 260 to win with a boundary off the final ball, Patel exchanged partnerships of 62 with late call-up Krish Patel, 60 with Josh Blake, and 51 with Conor McKerr. Additionally, McKerr recorded career-high List A stats of 4 for 55 in Essex’s 259 for 9.
Essex owes its slightly below-average performance on a dead pitch to two crucial stops. With a fifth-wicket partnership of 109 runs in 24 overs from Beau Webster (69) and Noah Thain (63), they were able to recover from 79 for 4, while Jamal Richards (31 not out) and Ben Allison added 52 runs for the ninth wicket.
Drama occurred before the game began when Surrey had to register 17-year-old leg-spin all-rounder Krish Patel at 10.28 a.m. when skipper Rory Burns injured his ankle during warm-ups.
Dom Sibley, Surrey’s greatest chance to underpin their return, was out first ball to a low edge and had his middle stump chipped back when Essex had the tails up. Ryan Patel, however, was not taken into account.
Josh Blake and Patel shared a 60-run stand that lasted 10 overs before Richards’ first over saw him take the wicket of the square-leg boundary sweeper. Ben Geddes pursued Aron Nijjar to a catch at midfield.
Patel, a left-handed batsman, scored three fours in the opening over and, after 50 balls, got his fifty with a six over midwicket. But he dropped Cameron Steel after Webster made a running catch at long leg.
The target was changed to 116 off 20 overs when newcomer Patel joined his namesake. His call-up was delayed, but it didn’t make him anxious. He even had time to deposit Nijjar for six over the long weekend to celebrate the partnership’s 50th anniversary. Finally, he was out for a 46-ball 30, lbw, returning to Nijjar.
With his 13th boundary, which he smashed through extra cover on his 102nd delivery, the senior Patel hit the three-figure mark. Prior to being bowled by Webster, McKerr’s 20 off 24 balls kept Surrey on track.
When Patel shot Allison to Webster at short extra cover to finish his 45-over knock, Surrey suddenly needed 33 from six overs with three wickets in hand, then 15 from 12 balls. As the target increased to 13 from eight balls, they lost Ealham to another Webster catch in the covers off Allison.
Griffiths lowered the score to nine from five balls with a sweep off the first ball of Beard’s final over, but just a single off the following two balls increased the tension. However, Moriarty pushed two more Bourndaries to leave three needed off the final ball. However, Griffith’s drive through midfield for four points on a full-toss was the game-winner.
Due to careless shots throughout the powerplay, Essex lost their first three wickets. In his first List A game of the year, captain Nick Browne lofted Amar Virdi for six, but he was killed by a timid chip to short midfield on the subsequent ball.
After driving Dan Moriarty’s second ball over the ropes and being stumped off a legside wide, Feroze Khushi also left the game. When he chased a wide ball, Luc Benkenstein became the third wicket to go in the opening ten overs. Charlie Allison did not last long either; after 14 overs, Essex was four down as he dragged on against Steel.
But that was just the start of Webster and Thain’s steadying century stand, which helped Essex recover from their downward spiral.
After reaching the century stand in 21 overs thanks to Thain’s second six, which was driven straight at Tommy Ealham, the pair returned to the pavilion in the span of just 13 balls after falling to McKerr. A soaring ball was slipped behind by Webster after Thain pulled to short midwicket.
With Beard playing all around to be lbw on one wicket and Will Buttleman bowling off his pads, the returning Virdi picked up two quick wickets for List A-best figures of 3 for 38.
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