SURREY took just 19.6 overs to knock off the runs they needed to complete a six-wicket victory over Essex that keeps them on top of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One standings.

Resuming their second innings on 85 for two, and still requiring 76 more runs, Surrey lost opener Ryan Patel and all-rounder Jamie Overton before clinching a 22-point triumph – their sixth win in 10 matches – when they reached 162 for four.

Patel, on 22 overnight, took his near four-hour knock to 38 before playing back to off spinner Simon Harmer and edging a ball that turned and bounced to keeper Adam Rossington.

Overton was then promoted up the order on Patel’s dismissal in the day’s 16th over, and responded by swinging Matt Critchley’s leg breaks over mid wicket for six.

The all-rounder also launched Critchley for another huge six over wide mid wicket before being caught off the same bowler for 21, at long off, in trying to end the match with one more blow.

Nightwatchman Tom Lawes, who was dropped on one at third slip off Shane Snater in the fifth over of the morning, played some excellent strokes of his own to finish 32 not out from 54 balls.

Lawes, the 19-year old all-rounder making just his fifth first-class appearance, clipped Snater through mid wicket for four and then skipped down the pitch to drive Harmer straight for six to show his capability with bat in hand.

Ollie Pope, who replaced Overton, reverse-swept the first ball he faced, from Harmer, for four to complete Surrey’s victory after 80 minutes of play on the final day.

Surrey now face defending champions Warwickshire at the Oval next week with only four games remaining as they look to land the trophy they last won in 2018.

Essex take five points from the game.