Surrey back with a bang
Newly-promoted Surrey made a winning start to life in Division One of the LV= County Championship despite a defiant hundred from Sussex’s Luke Wells.
Wells batted 10 minutes short of six hours before falling for 108 - a dismissal that heralded Surrey’s first win in the top-flight since 2007; they emerged victorious by 86 runs, just 43 minutes into the final day at the Kia Oval.
The left-hander, having resumed on 96 with only the tail for company, lost James Anyon in the fifth over of the day when the seamer drove at Jon Lewis, giving substitute fielder Jason Roy a low catch at third slip.
Wells had only added a single to his overnight score at that stage, but reached his century with a square-drive off Jade Dernbach for his 11th boundary.
Last man Lewis Hatchett kept him company for another 33 balls, allowing the impressive Wells to add another boundary, this time off Lewis.
While the rest of his team-mates struggled against a lively Surrey attack, the phlegmatic Wells had barely played a false shot before Lewis did finally prise him out. When he did, it owed as much to the pitch as the ball stopped in the wicket and Wells’ attempted drive gave the bowler an easy return catch.
Wells’ fourth first-class hundred came off 247 balls, with 12 fours, while Lewis finished with four wickets on an impressive debut for his new county.
Team director Chris Adams was delighted with Surrey’s winning start, saying: “We played the type of aggressive cricket I like against a Sussex side who are the benchmark for this division. They always play as hard as they can so it was a good win for us.
“It’s nice to make a winning start but we’re not looking any further ahead of the four championship games we have in April. We will re-assess after that.”