(Reuters) - Surrey successfully defended their County Championship title to claim the trophy for a third time in six years on Thursday, after taking an unassailable lead in the standings when Essex were bowled out in their final game of the season.
Surrey led Essex by 20 points going into the final game and needed just five points against Hampshire to retain the title, but they failed to secure bonus points when batting when they were bowled out for 207 in the first innings.
Essex needed to score more than 400 against Northamptonshire to stay in the race but they were in turn bowled out for 211 in response to a first innings score of 369, handing Surrey the title.
Surrey also won the title in 2018 while Essex won the 2019 championship. The 2020 season was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair; Editing by Alex Richardson)