Ryan Patel ready for make-or-break September as Surrey chase back-to-back Championship titles


Ryan Patel is now looking ahead to what he calls “a massive September” for Surrey, after finishing the One-Day Cup campaign with innings of 117 and 78 to boost his own chances of featuring in the Oval outfit’s bid for back-to-back County Championship titles.

The 25-year-old opener, who was the South Londoners’ top run-getter in the 50-over competition – scoring 330 from seven innings at an average of 47.14 – is now focused on taking that form into the Championship run-in, which kicks off this Sunday against Warwickshire.

Surrey, the 2022 champions, have been long-time leaders of Division One and are 17 points clear of nearest challengers Essex.

Both have three matches to come and Surrey have been given a huge boost with the news that West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach is back on board. Roach took 18 wickets in five games earlier this season, his third spell with the club, and, overall, has 65 Championship scalps in 17 appearances for Surrey at an average of 24.

“We are at the top of the Championship table, with a decent lead, and that’s where we would have wanted to be for the run-in when we started the season,” said Patel.

“It’s a massive month ahead for everyone. Warwickshire are a very good side, it’s great that we’re playing them at The Oval.”

Patel’s superb 117 against Essex at Chelmsford last week set up a thrilling finish that saw Surrey chase down the Eagles’ 259 to win by just two wickets.

Importantly, it also meant an uplifting way for them to end a difficult One-Day Cup campaign in which double-figure call-ups for The Hundred and a number of injuries ravaged even Surrey’s powerful squad.

It was particularly pleasing to see two homegrown 17-year-olds, Luke Griffiths and Krish Patel, contribute to the last gasp victory.

Patel scored 30 while adding an invaluable 62 with his senior namesake for the fifth wicket, but it was Griffiths who got the South Londoners over the line by hitting the last ball of the match for four.

Centurion Patel said: “Krish, for a 17-year-old, was brilliant. He wasn’t expecting to play, he was only meant to be 12th man, but Rory Burns twisted an ankle in the warm-ups and he did brilliantly well.

“For him to keep such a calm head and bat with me for that period of time, to get us back to where we wanted to be, was outstanding.

“It was nice to get a hundred and to be able to go into the Championship games to come with some form. I feel like I have batted pretty well recently.”

probable line-ups

Surrey: Burns (capt), Sibley, R Patel, Smith, Foakes (wk), Steel, Clark, Overton, Lawes, Roach, Worrall.

Warwickshire: Yates, Davies, Rhodes (capt), Hain, Mousley, Barnard, Burgess (wk), Woakes, Brookes, Hannon-Dalby, Rushworth.

Kemar Roach (Surrey, pictured below) – whose first-class record at the Oval reads 44 wickets at just 21.88 runs apiece.
Sam Hain (Warwickshire) – the 28-year-old, who is averaging 59.36 with the bat in this summer’s Championship, almost proved to be a thorn in Surrey’s side when he made 96 in the corresponding fixture last year.

Surrey CCC v Middlesex CCC – DAY ONE LV= County Championship Division 1, The Kia Oval, 11 May 2023
Picture : Keith Gillard

Fourth-placed Warwickshire suffered a surprise eight-wicket defeat to Middlesex last time out. Surrey, the Championship leaders, go into this clash having won their last two.

There have been just three centurions in the five Championship fixtures at the Oval this summer – two of them in the most recent four-day game in SE11, which saw Surrey’s Jordan Clark hit 107 and Notts’ Will Young 145.

Ryan Patel – his 117 against Essex lifted Surrey off the foot of the Metro Bank Group A table.

Luke Griffiths, with three runs still needed, hitting the last ball for four.

September 3-6 – Surrey v Warwickshire (County Championship)
September 5- South East Stars v Thunder at Guildford (Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy)


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