Surrey’s festival of cricket drew a huge crowd – let’s extend it to every county

The Oval welcomed 14,000 fans, the Championship had its first tie in six years and Jimmy Anderson was on fire

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

The match between Surrey and Essex at the Oval drew a crowd of more than 6,000 on the first day, Sunday being designated “the festival of red-ball cricket”. Even with plenty of weather about, almost 14,000 attended across the duration of the match, a record this century.

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Wickets galore at the Oval, where Essex were reduced to 10 men after Jordan Cox had an emergency appendix operation on Sunday. Despite a half-century from Paul Walter, Essex faced a first‑innings deficit of 82, but reduced Surrey to 44 for three on a damp day.

At the Rose Bowl, James Vince – one of England’s batting what-might-have-beens – stroked a glorious 211 to put Hampshire on top against Kent, who finished the day 299 behind with only four wickets in hand.

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