Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Pennington And County Make Champions Battle All The Way For Victory

worcestershire made newly crowned specsavers county championship title winners surrey battle all the way before going down by three wickets on a tense final day at New Road.

surrey needed a 272 target to seal their first crown for 16 years and appeared to be in command after rory burns and mark stoneman put on 111 for the first wicket.

but the county attack stuck admirably to their guns, with dillon pennington in particular giving another sterling example of his sterling potential, before just being edged out.

the winning hit from morne morkel was the cue for wild celebrations from the surrey players but they would be the first admit head coach kevin sharp’s side had pushed them all the way and could be proud of their efforts.

ultimately it was morkel’s devastating five wicket blast yesterday evening which proved decisive in reducing the potential target that surrey could have been facing today.

but there was precious little to choose between the sides over the four days.

surrey resumed on 70-0 and stoneman and burns completed their half centuries – but then the wickets started to tumble.

wayne parnell broke the partnership on 111 when he bowled stoneman for 59.

then pennington bowled a probing spell and was rewarded when first innings century-maker burns was bowled off his pads for 66 and then josh tongue accounted for dean elgar – also bowled – for 21.

ollie pope and ben foakes added 53 to take surrey to 210-3.

sixty two were needed when foakes (22) went for a top edged pull against parnell and fell to a fine catch by ross whiteley running back from square leg.

worcestershire continued to plug away and will jacks (12) holed out to extra cover off ed barnard.

pope (49) was comprehensively bowled by pennington and the same bowler dismissed tom curran (7) as he gloved to whiteley running back from slip.

but the 36-year-old rikki clarke kept his nerve to see surrey over the finishing line.

pennington finished with figures of 12.2-3-41-3.