Alastair Cook reached what was his second ton this season to help Essex secure a draw against a strong Surrey side.
If the English fans needed a bit of optimism, they surely have got a reason to be optimistic with Captain Cook's second consecutive hundred (127) following 181 at Chelmsford against Derbyshire. This surely would please the new coach Peter Moores as well who plans to begin this new English era with a reasonable amount of success.
After Essex bowled really well on the 3rd day, Surrey were restricted to 217/6 needing to spend a bit of time in the middle as coach Graham Ford demanded.
However, Tymal Mills, another name being demanded in the England setup ensured that the home side couldn't add much runs as he removed Chris Tremlett and Jade Dernbach quickly. Talented young player Jason Roy then showed some resistance and finally ended up on 46 off 61 deliveries.
With some reasonably good bowling performance needed by the Surrey bowlers, they came out firing as Matt Dunn removed Jack Mickleburgh. But, Cook on the other hand seemed in so good touch that the bowlers couldn't do much as his side reached lunch at 82/1.
As the post-lunch session, the English captain's good touch continued as he reached a fifty off 90 balls. Tom Westley on the other hand played well for his 42 before Dernbach cleant him up to bring Ravi Bopara on the crease.
With Bopara's arrival began complete dominance and finally, the "just become father" Cooky completed his 47th first-class hundred off 160 balls as the guests reached 204/2 at Tea.
Soon after tea, Bopara fell for another 42 (49 in the 1st innings) as he failed to score a half-century yet again. Cook followed him soon as Rory Burns ended his 202 ball stay and eventually, the hands were shaken.
Meanwhile, Somerset also ended in a draw against the defending Division 1 champions Durham, the highlight being Nick Compton's masterclass century that saved the match for his side.
This knock would actually remind the selectors yet again of the ability that Denis Compton's grandson possesses. No doubt, he too could be, in fact he should be a part of the England team that plays in the summer.
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