The South African-born Ryan ten Doeschate carried Essex to a tight one-wicket win over Surrey in the County Championship Divsion One at The Oval in London on Thursday.
Pursuing a modest 132-run target, the visitors slipped to a precarious 97 for seven before ten Doeschate sealed the triumph with a fighting half-century.
The captain struck the victorious boundary off fell South African-born cricketer Jade Dernbach, resigning Surrey to a first defeat for the season. Surrey were unable to retain an unblemished record, but won the Division One title, regardless.
Former Proteas seamer Morne Morkel’s second-innings four-wicket haul went in vain, though did include they key dismissal of countryman Simon Harmer. All-rounder Harmer had struck a maiden century for Essex in the first innings.
Morkel finished second only to Lancashire’s Tom Bailey in the 2018 Division One’s wicket-taking ranks, with 59 in 20 appearances, including four five-fors – and an average of 14.32.
The half-ton marked the 48th of ten Doeschate’s lengthy first-class career, which started in 2003. He has also scored 27 centuries. The talented all-rounder, too, has forged a successful international career with the Netherlands across 33 ODIs and 10 T20Is.
A veritable journeyman, he has also played for Canterbury and Otago in New Zealand, Tasmania in Australia, Chittagong Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and Mashonaland Eagles in Zimbabwe.