County Championship: Dan Lawrence hits century as Essex lead against Surrey

Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara
Dan Lawrence has passed 50 on five previous occasions this season but his best score was 93
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day two):
Surrey 174: Smith 34, Foakes 34; Porter 5-62, S Cook (5-53)
Essex 302-6: Lawrence 147, ten Doeschate 78*; Clarke 3-52
Essex (6 pts) lead Surrey (1 pt) by 128 with six wickets standing

Dan Lawrence made a timely first Championship century of the season as Essex built a first-innings lead on day two against Surrey at Chelmsford.

Jamie Porter (5-62) and Sam Cook (5-53) collected Surrey's last six wickets for 37 runs as they were all out for 174.

But title-chasing Essex ran into trouble on 53-3 before Lawrence and Ravi Bopara (34) put on 72.

Ryan ten Doeschate (78 not out) added 173 with Lawrence, who finally fell for 147 as Essex reached 302-6, 128 ahead.

With leaders Somerset bowled out for just 142 against Hampshire and therefore able to take no more than 19 points from the game should they win it, every point is crucial for Essex, who began the match against Surrey just eight behind.

Porter and Cook wasted no time in securing all three bowling points after the latter began the day by knocking out Ben Foakes' (34) off stump.

Jordan Clark (3-52) claimed the first three wickets when Essex began their reply, including that of Alastair Cook, who was lbw for 24.

But Lawrence grew in confidence as the ball became soft and reached three figures off 182 balls by sweeping spinner Scott Borthwick for four.

Ten Doeschate was typically assertive in the supporting role, collecting nine boundaries before Lawrence was caught at slip from a delivery by Morne Morkel that appeared to bounce a little more than he expected and Jamie Porter was lbw to Rikki Clarke for a duck in the penultimate over.

Essex already had a third batting point, though, and another two are available on the third morning if they can add a further 98 to their total in 23 overs.

Essex centurion Dan Lawrence:

"I was really disappointed with myself last week on a flat wicket at Edgbaston. But obviously I'm over the moon to contribute. 302-6 is a great position to be in

"I had a bit of a look at myself and tweaked a few things before this game to get myself completely right - and thankfully it paid off.

"It just happened that I scored a few on the off-side, given that I'm a bit of a leg-side Larry.

"Tendo played outstandingly well. We generally bat quite well together. Before you know it he's on 30, because he is so proactive and a very aggressive batsman. He creates a lot of momentum."

Surrey all-rounder Jordan Clark told BBC Radio London:

"It was a long day. We went for a few too many runs than we would have liked. But the boys tried hard all day, right to the end.

"There was a bit in the wicket this morning for Porter and Cook. It nipped around a bit.

"They utilised the conditions and they bowled really well in partnership.

"We can take a little bit from that. The aim will be to bowl in partnerships for longer periods."

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