ESSEX maintained their unbeaten run in County Championship Division One after playing out a draw against Surrey in Chelmsford.

Essex’s Jamie Porter claimed the fourth five-wicket haul of his career on the final day, after Surrey had scored 369 and 260-9 in their two innings.

Essex scored 383 in their first innings, thanks in the main to a century from Dan Lawrence (107), and good knocks from Nick Browne (52), Ryan ten Doeschate (53) and Neil Wagner (50).

The match was as notable for the efforts of Surrey’s Kumar Sangakkara, who fell just 16 runs short of a sixth consecutive Championship century, before he was claimed by part-time spinner Tom Westley.

And Porter said it was a good result, with Essex occupying top spot in the table.

“Tom deserved it, it was a good catch,” he said.

“Obviously it’s the prized wicket out there, and he played seriously well. I wouldn’t like to bowl at him every week. Hopefully at Guildford in a couple of weeks’ time I’ll have another chance to get him.”

Of his own form, Porter said: “I feel like I’ve bowled pretty much the same as I have all season, I just didn’t get the same rewards in the first three games.

“But in the last two games it has clicked and all gone my way.

“It was a spell where wickets weren’t really in my mind, I was just thinking, ‘Hit a good length and make them play as many balls as possible, then who knows what will happen’.

“We may not have won this one, but we’re playing good cricket, we have been all season and feel we can go into any game and win it.”

Essex return on June 9, against Surrey in Guildford.