|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day two):|
|Surrey 395: Patel 100*, Jacks 88, Foakes 69; Siddle 6-104|
|Essex 202-4: Lawrence 87*; Curran 3-66|
|Essex (4 pts) trail Surrey (5 pts) by 193 runs|
Ryan Patel’s maiden first-class century and Tom Curran’s three wickets on day two helped Surrey maintain the upper hand against Essex at The Oval.
Patel was 100 not out when Surrey’s first innings ended on 395, with Peter Siddle taking 6-104 for the visitors.
Curran (3-66) then removed ex-England captain Alastair Cook for just 11.
Essex looked in danger of a big first-innings deficit at 20-2, but Dan Lawrence (87 not out) got them to 202-4 before bad light ended play early.
Tom Westley (41) and Championship debutant Rishi Patel (31) helped to steady Essex’s reply, and captain Ryan ten Doeschate (20 not out) will resume alongside Lawrence on the third morning.
Cook’s distinguished Test career ended with a century against India at The Oval in September 2018, but his first innings at the ground since his international farewell lasted only 20 balls before he edged Curran behind to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
The morning session belonged to Surrey batsman Patel, who had been 70 not out overnight with only three home wickets remaining.
The 21-year-old had progressed to 84 by the time last man Morne Morkel came to the crease, but the big South African paceman hung around for eight overs to allow Patel to reach three figures.
Surrey’s Ryan Patel told BBC Radio London:
“It was a special feeling for me. I was happy with how long I batted for because, in the past, I have sometimes given my wicket away. Also, the tempo I played at, that was pleasing too.
“I’ve come through the age groups for Surrey and getting my first 100, with my mum and dad watching from the balcony on my home ground, is a moment I have always dreamt about, a bit surreal really.
“I was a bit nervous in the 90s but Morne Morkel was brilliant. He said he’d be there all the way and he did superbly.”
Essex’s Dan Lawrence told BBC Radio Essex:
“The Oval is that sort of ground where overhead conditions play a big part. When it’s overcast the ball tends to do a lot more so I was pleased I was able to stick it out and hopefully I can push on.
“Tom Westley played beautifully and then Rishi Patel was fantastic. It’s hard to believe it was his debut. It was a shame that he got out because he put the bad balls away really nicely.
“We’ve just got to take small steps and try and get as close as we can to their score, no matter how long it takes.”