ESSEX's trip to the Kia Oval today turned into a damp squib as play against Surrey was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

James Foster's side had travelled to south London looking to build on their positive start to the new season following their victory over Derbyshire.

But rain meant the covers stayed on at the Oval and hopes of starting the  County Championship Division Two match were ended after lunch with little prospect of the weather improving.

Play is due to start tomorrow at 11am.