Ollie Pope reaches quick century as Surrey claim crushing victory over Hampshire

Ollie Pope took ‘Bazball’ to the LV=Insurance County Championship as he scored an unbeaten 122 from 102 balls to take Surrey to a crushing nine-wicket victory against fellow title hopefuls Hampshire at the Kia Oval.

Dom Sibley’s unbeaten 79 played the perfect anchor for England batsman Pope, who hit three sixes and 14 fours, while the second wicket pair made 193 in 30 overs to help Surrey chase a target of 243 with minimal effort.

The comprehensive victory sent a powerful message to the rest of the division as the defending champions walked away destructively in the final session of the game, with Pope finishing things off with straight sixes.

Surrey’s first win of the campaign leaves them second in the table, three runs behind Warwickshire after the Bears finally ended Kent’s stubborn resistance with only six overs to spare at Edgbaston.

The hosts won by an innings and 14 runs when Kent all-rounder Joey Evison beat Hassan Ali behind for 99 runs, having brought his side so close to salvaging an improbable draw

Defeat was on the horizon for the visitors as they stumbled to 99 for seven after following 295 runs behind, but opener Ben Compton (88) and 21-year-old Evison added 100 in 25 overs to give Kent hope.

Compton bowled in the first over after tea but Evison and Conor McKerr then added 74 in 27 overs and Kent was within striking distance of a great escape when Will Rhodes caught McKerr on a fourth slip before Evison fell victim to the outswinger by Wings.

Essex are third in the top flight, four points behind Surrey, after their captain Tom Westley stood strong for nearly three hours as he denied Lancashire a win at Chelmsford.

Lancashire plundered 184 runs in a 28-over morning session, with 137 coming in the last 15 overs, as they declared on 351 from seven to set Essex a target of 340 off 68 overs.

The lower-order trio Tom Hartley (73 not out), Colin de Grandhomme (38) and Tom Bailey (25 not out) hit 10 sixes and 10 fours between them as they besieged the Essex bowling attack in search of the victory.

James Anderson then sent off his former England captain Sir Alastair Cook for a duck as Essex’s reply got off to a dismal start, but Westley, on 43 off 120 balls, ensured it was only a minor setback as the hosts worked their way to 128 for four from 58 overs as the sides shook hands on the toss.

Nottinghamshire’s home leg to Division One got off to an ideal start with a 165-run victory over Somerset.

Despite a two-day bust, Nottinghamshire picked up a convincing victory as Somerset were bowled out for 129 midway through Sunday’s afternoon session after setting a target of 295 to win.

Dane Paterson passed 500 first-class wickets with figures of five for 46, Brett Hutton finished with nine wickets in the match and England sailor Stuart Broad claimed his first wickets of the season as Nottinghamshire rallied from their round of defeat opening against Hampshire in style .

Archival photo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad

England duo Stuart Broad and James Anderson were among the wickets on Sunday (David Davies/PA)

Also in Division One, Sam Whiteman hit a first half-century to help Northamptonshire secure their first win with a seven-wicket triumph over Middlesex.

Fresh from a Sheffield Shield win last month, the Western Australia captain hit seven fours and sixes in an unbeaten 60 as Northamptonshire hit their target of 119 just before lunch.

Leicestershire went top of the Second Division after securing valuable bonus points in a rain-affected draw with Derbyshire.

No games were possible in the previous two days, but centuries from captain Lewis Hill (162 not out) Colin Ackermann (114), followed by a fine bowling spell from Chris Wright (four for 38), ensured Leicestershire top honors bonus points.

The hosts declared on 451 for nine before Derbyshire finished on 253 for seven in their first innings, with Brooke Guest (92) and Wayne Madsen (75) leading the way.

Durham moved up to second in the table, to 27 runs with Worcestershire, after beating Pears by 121 runs at the Riverside off a five-wicket haul by Matthew Kuhnemann.

Durham captain Scott Borthwick (108 not out) scored his maiden first-class century in two years as he and David Bedingham (86) struck up a 196-run partnership to leave the hosts in top position for victory .

Worcestershire needed 314 to win from 70 overs after Durham bid 254 for four, but after losing two early wickets, the visitors had only a draw in mind.

The recent partnership between Adam Finch and Dillon Pennington all but denied the home side but Australian spinner Kuhnemann (five for 53) edged out the latter to secure Durham’s first win of the season.

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