Marsh and Lees give Tykes hope
DETERMINED hundreds from both Shaun Marsh and Alex Lees ensured Yorkshire’s escape with a hard-earned draw against Surrey at the Kia Oval despite having been being forced to follow-on in their Specsavers County Championship match.
Marsh finished unbeaten on 125, from 263 balls, in a dedicated demonstration of crease occupation across five and a half hours, and he had guided Yorkshire to safety at 281 for 2 in their second innings – an overall lead of 83 – when bad light prevented the last 31 overs of the match from being bowled.
There was just one over sent down after tea before umpires Michael Burns and Neil Mallender took the players off, never to return.
It was a fine effort from Marsh and Lees, with the five draw points highly valuable to a Yorkshire team who are facing a fight to avoid relegation from Division One in the upcoming last fortnight of the season.
The 10 points they take from this match leaves them on 124, just one point ahead of both Somerset and Middlesex and with one of those three counties seemingly destined to join already relegated Warwickshire in the second division next season. ■■Essex have won their first County Championship title since 1992.
Ryan ten Doeschate’s team put themselves on the brink of glory when they trounced Warwickshire by an innings inside three days at Edgbaston.
But after their eighth victory of a remarkable season, Essex had to wait for second-placed Lancashire’s failure to win away to Somerset to be confirmed before they could start celebrating the silverware.