Vitality County Championship Preview: Surrey v Somerset



Somerset travel to The KIA Oval this week to take on Surrey in the Vitality County Championship First Division.

Day one of this fixture is due to get underway tomorrow (Friday April 12th).


Morning session: 11am to 1pm
Afternoon session: 1:40pm to 3:40pm
Evening session: 4pm to 6pm


You can keep up to date using the dedicated Match Centre on this website which will feature a live stream of the action courtesy of Surrey CCC.

In-play updates will also appear on our X feed (formerly Twitter).


Don’t forget that we have introduced the Trade Nation Win Predictor on our Match Centre in 2024.

The predictor, which is powered by CricViz and commonly used across the game as ‘WinViz’, is utilised by broadcasters around the world to help viewers get an accurate impression of which team is winning at any given moment.

In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.


Captain: Rory Burns
Head Coach: Gareth Batty
2023 finish: Champions (Division One)
2023 highest run-scorer: Dom Sibley (746)
2023 highest wicket-taker: Jordan Clark and Dan Worrall (both 48)

What can we expect?: Can Surrey make it a hat-trick of titles after their triumphs of 2022 and last summer? Skipper Burns will actually be aiming for a fourth championship success in seven years, having led Surrey to the 2018 title in his own first season as captain, while Batty admits Alec Stewart’s decision to step down as long-serving director of cricket at the end of 2024 will only “add to our desire as a squad” to achieve the hat-trick as a tribute to the true Surrey (and England) great. A key feature of Surrey’s recent rise is the strength and depth of the homegrown core of their squad, with 10 of the 19 players who featured in championship cricket last summer qualifying on that count. Expect to see more evidence of that close-knit squad identity in this campaign.

Key winter moves: Dan Lawrence’s arrival from Essex is much anticipated at the Oval. Head coach Gareth Batty says: “Without taking anything away from the wonderful work Essex have done with him in his career so far, we feel we can help him to become an even better cricketer.” Expect, for instance, to see more of Lawrence’s idiosyncratic spin bowling as well as big runs.

One to watch: Jamie Smith, a stylish and powerful 23-year-old with all the shots, will be looking to go up another gear after 736 championship runs last season with two hundreds and four fifties cemented his place in a multi-talented batting line-up.

Final thought: Surrey’s dominance in recent seasons has been based on relentless fast-bowling power and a batting order of enviable depth. In 2023, while the overall batting effort might have been better, no fewer than 16 different players scored at least one championship half-century (from 33 in all) while six of them also featured in a total of nine hundreds. Much more impressive, though, were the records of a magnificent seven-strong seam attack: Clark and Worrall’s 48 wickets apiece came at an average of 21.35 and 24.20 respectively, followed by Tom Lawes (39 at 19.76), Sean Abbott (37 at 24.78), Kemar Roach (26 at 26.26), Gus Atkinson (20 at 20.20) and Jamie Overton (14 at 24.64).


Craig Overton is available for selection after injury and new signing Migael Pretorius is in line to make his Somerset debut. Alfie Ogborne has also been added to the squad but Jack Leach and Tom Abell are still both sidelined by injury.

Somerset have named the following squad for the fixture: Lewis Gregory, Sean Dickson, Matt Renshaw, Tom Lammonby, Tom Banton, James Rew, Lewis Goldsworthy, Craig Overton, Migael Pretorius, Kasey Aldridge, Jake Ball, Shoaib Bashir and Alfie Ogborne.


Ahead of the match, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “We’re taking a huge amount of confidence into this match after a good pre-season and a decent run out in the opening game. At Kent we saw some excellent performances with the bat and it was brilliant to see players applying what we’ve been working on throughout the winter. With the ball, it was good to see people creating opportunities in challenging conditions.

“There were some brilliant individual performances, but more importantly we looked unified as a team and there was a real purpose to what they were doing as a group. The overriding emotion going into this next game is one of confidence.

“Surrey are always strong, we know that. They’ve got immense depth in their squad and they’ve got their international players available. At this level you want to test yourselves against the best, so we’re really looking forward to the fixture.”


We go back to 1977 for our classic County Championship match between Somerset and Surrey.

The two sides met at Clarence Park, Weston-super-Mare in August of that summer for a three-day fixture which saw Somerset come out on top by 158 runs, thanks in no small part to a double century from one of the game’s greatest ever players.

Batting first, Somerset had slipped to 36 for two after Graham Burgess and Petter Denning fell early. This soon became 79 for three when Merv Kitchen returned to the dressing room.

However, Viv Richards and Peter Roebuck (112) took Somerset to 330, sharing a fourth wicket stand of 251. Richards eventually fell for a superb 204 as Somerset finished on 492 for eight. Robin Jackman and Patrick Pocock both claimed three wickets for the visitors.

Vic Marks then took five for 50 as Surrey were dismissed for 257.

Batting for a second time, Somerset declared on 136 for three, Richards top scoring again with 48.

Chasing an unlikely total for victory, Surrey were all out for 213 despite an impressive 110 not out from Geoff Howarth. Burgess was the pick of the bowlers this time with four for 31 whilst Richards also impressed with the ball, claiming three for 15.


The 2024 season is now upon us and that means another summer of elite cricket at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the sound of leather on willow and the return of the WPA Predictions League.

Powered by WPA Health Insurance, the game allows you to test your cricket knowledge against your friends and colleagues by scoring points during every Somerset match.

Your correct predictions will transfer into points, and you will be able to monitor your progress on the leaderboard.

The person with the most points at the end of the season in each competition will win a prize!

All you have to do is predict, watch and win!

Good luck!



If you are planning to attend the match, all the information you need can be found on the official Surrey CCC Website.



Our Next Vitality County Championship match is at the Cooper Associates County Ground when we take on Nottinghamshire.

The match gets underway on Friday April 19th.

Tickets for the game are still available!