Murali Vijay County Championship 2018 Essex Surrey The Oval
Murali Vijay celebrates his fourth consecutive fifty in a row © Getty Images

Murali Vijay continued his golden run in the 2018 County Championship, this time with 80 (in 127 balls, with 10 fours) against Surrey at The Oval. Vijay, dropped from the Indian side after the third Test against England, signed up a contract with Essex for the last three matches of the season. He had impressed with 56 and 100 on Championship debut, against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, and followed it with 85 against Worcestershire at Chelmsford. This is his fourth fifty on the trot.

Before that, however, Surrey — already crowned champions for the season — were bowled out for 67 in a mere 27 overs as James Porter (4 for 26) and Samuel Cook (4 for 27) ran riot. The last eight wickets fell for 26 runs in the space of 70 balls.

Rory Burns (19) and Ollie Pope (26) were the only ones to reach double figures. They added 18 for the third wicket before the New Zealander Matthew Quinn — the only other bowler used by Essex — came on to dismiss Burns and Ben Foakes off consecutive deliveries.

In response, Morne Morkel took out Nick Browne early, but Vijay and Tom Westley (93*) added 146 to steady ship. Essex were 130 ahead with eight wickets in hand at stumps.

Brief scores:

Surrey 67 (Ollie Pope 26; Jamie Porter 4 for 26, Samuel Cook 4 for 27) trail Essex 197 for 2 (Murali Vijay 80, Tom Westley 93; Morne Morkel 1 for 43) by 130 runs.