ESSEX County Cricket Club head into their final game of the 2018 Specsavers County Championship season today knowing that the runners-up position could still be theirs.

Newly-crowned champions Surrey - the side who took over from Essex as title-holders - will be their hosts for the season's final action at the Kia Oval.

The four-day game is due to start today with Essex's top three spot confirmed after their convincing win against Worcestershire last week and they know a good result could still see them finish the season in second spot.

To do that, Essex must make up a 19-point gap to the team currently occupying second place - Somerset - in the final round of fixtures.

Essex head into the game boosted by the news that seam bowler Sam Cook has signed a two-year contract extension that will see him remain with the club until the conclusion of the 2020 season.

The 21-year-old signed his first professional contract in October of last year, and after another successful season with the ball, has put pen-to-paper on a new deal.

Cook featured regularly across all formats for Essex this season, taking an impressive 32 wickets in 24 matches in the process.

Cook said: “I’m over the moon to be signing an extension until 2020.

"Being a professional cricketer is what I’ve always wanted to do, so to extend my stay at such a brilliant club is a dream come true.”

“It’s a really nice way to end what has been a good season for the team and hopefully that will continue long into the future.”

Head Coach Anthony McGrath added: “Sam is a fantastic young bowler who has had another good year.

"We’re delighted that he’s signed an extension and we’re really looking forward to seeing him develop even further over the coming years.”