ESSEX have moved to the top of the County Championship Division One standings after securing an eight-wicket win over Surrey.

Tom Westley (108 not out) and Nick Browne (77) enjoyed a fine innings with the bat, and were instrumental in leading Essex to victory.

Needing 253 after bowling Surrey out for 288 earlier in the day, Essex reached 253/2 little more than half-an-hour after tea and looked in control.

Westley was joined in an unbroken third wicket partnership of 105 in 27 overs by Dan Lawrence, who finished unbeaten on 32.

Essex took 24 points from their third win of the season, with Surrey settling for seven.

Essex began their chase well, with a half-century stand from Browne and Alastair Cook.

But Cook was out on the stroke of lunch for 31 and Browne was eventually caught at slip from a ball which turned and bounced, but not before he and Westley had added a further 95 for the second wicket.

The left-hander had faced just 96 balls, hitting 13 fours, and in the latter half of his innings he produced some quality strokes – including an effortless straight drive for four to greet Stuart Meaker’s introduction into the attack and then a dismissive short-armed pull to the boundary off Ravi Rampaul.

Batty’s off-spin did not trouble the Essex batsmen in the same way that former South Africa Test off-spinner Simon Harmer had made Surrey battle for runs in his second innings (4-83 from 39 overs).

The confident Westley moved to 97 with three successive fours off Scott Borthwick’s leg spin, and then completed three figures with a pull off Meaker. Westley’s hundred came from 162 balls.

In the morning session, Ben Foakes finished unbeaten on 65, from 149 balls, as Surrey added just 35 runs to their overnight total of 253/7 before the innings ended in a rush of poor shots and crazy running.

Meaker drove a half-volley from left arm paceman Neil Wagner to extra cover to go for 14, and two balls later Rampaul clipped the same bowler to backward square leg.

Foakes was then left stranded when he drove Wagner down the ground, looking for two, but Lawrence moved quickly in the field, returned the ball to the bowler and in turn to James Foster for a run out.

Surrey and Essex had scored 399 and 435 in the first innings respectively, with Mark Stoneman hitting a tremendous 197 from 386 deliveries, before he was bowled by Wagner (3-110).

Jamie Porter closed with figures of 4-102.

Essex’s first innings was anchored by Ryan ten Doeschate, who ended unbeaten on 168.