‘Clinical’ Surrey do rare double over Middlesex to maintain County Championship advantage over Essex


Rory Burns described Surrey’s first home and away double against Middlesex since 1984 as “clinical”, as the County Championship leaders maintained the gap between them and second-placed Essex by comfortably overcoming their north London rivals at Lord’s last weekend.

“We were pretty clinical over the three and a bit days,” said skipper Burns, who returned to form with the bat by hitting 79. “There are a few bits we could have tidied up on but, if you’d offered us that before the start of the game, we’d have taken it.”

Jamie Smith (138) led the way as Surrey posted an imposing total before dismissing Middlesex for 238 and 272.

“After getting inserted on the first morning, to put up 433 as a batting group and then back that up by making them follow-on – and the way we went about it – it’s a big feather in our caps,” said Burns.

“Jamie batted beautifully and Jordan Clark was in pretty good nick as well. The way he came in and hit 78 was excellent.”

With the championship about to go into hibernation for five weeks, due to The Hundred, Burns knows that, with Essex clinging to Surrey’s coat-tails, his side needs to put in another dominant display at Taunton in the current round.

“The games come around thick and fast and Somerset are in a pretty good spot at the minute, they’re on a high. So, hopefully, we can go down there and put in another good performance,” said Burns, who will be without the services of Sean Abbott.

Abbott has been called back from his stint as overseas player by Cricket Australia, though not before taking 37 championship wickets for the South Londoners at an average of 24.78, in addition to hitting 456 runs at 45.60.

The Australian also struck a remarkable century in the T20 Blast, against Kent, which came off just 34 balls, making it the joint fastest in the competition’s history.

Gareth Batty, Surrey’s head coach, said: “Sean’s had an incredible impact in this spell at the club. He’s been a real leader on and off the pitch and has shown his outstanding skill-set with both the white and the red ball.

“He’s been magnificent around the group and has gone out of his way to help individuals and to make the team better.

“The way he bought into the mentality and the values of the side has been first class. He has made crucial contributions in every game and has delivered everything that could be asked of an overseas player.”

Abbott added: “My time here has been incredibly special. I’ve made some incredible memories this season and I will be watching as Surrey keep up the push for another title in September.”

The Oval is in mourning this week following the passing of former wicketkeeper Roy Swetman, at the age of 89.

Swetman, who made 129 first-class appearances for the South Londoners between 1954 and 1961 – claiming 269 dismissals – also represented England on 11 occasions, most notably against India at the Oval in 1959, when he made a Test match 65.

Swetman retired early, at the age of 28, but was twice tempted back, firstly by Notts, for whom he played 59 times in two seasons, and then Gloucestershire, between 1972 and 1974, appearing on 93 occasions.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.