It only took Surrey 15 minutes to seal the deal against Warwickshire and earn their eighth County Championship victory of the year, putting them in first place.
After being bowled out for 161 in 45 overs in the first inning, the Bears batted even worse in the second inning, scoring only 138 after starting the day at 126-7.
That ended a loss by a final score of 97 runs in the ninth inning.
Only Essex now stand in the way of the defending champions Surrey, who have only two games remaining at home against Northamptonshire and away against Hampshire.
“Essex are a very good side,” said Surrey captain Rory Burns. Over the following three days, we anticipate strong performance from them. It could be a two-horse race between us and them, but all we have to do is focus on our strengths, and the motivation is definitely there in our locker room.
It only took Surrey 24 balls to seal the victory, making this Warwickshire’s fourth consecutive Championship loss at The Oval, and their second consecutive loss by an innings.
Dan Worrall got one to lift on the fifth delivery of the day, and Jamie Overton in the slips captured Henry Brookes off the shoulder of the bat.
With a brilliant delivery, Worrall had Dan Mousley caught behind for his fifth wicket of the innings, marking wicketkeeper Ben Foakes’s 300th dismissal for Surrey.
With just one more run added to his overnight score, Mousley departed for 61 and his fifth first-class half-century of a promising summer.
The Bears’ chances of winning the game were effectively ended after Chris Rushworth was bowled by Jordan Clark in the next over.
Three consecutive batting disasters have doomed the Bears since their humiliating loss to Hampshire in the One-Day Cup semi-finals, when they were shot out for just 93.
They were missing three key players: openers Rob Yates, Alex Davies, and Jacob Bethell, and their final-day hero from the previous season, Liam Norwell, has yet to bowl a ball this season.
They still have three games left in the Championship, two of which take place at home against last-place teams Northants and Somerset and the third at Lord’s against relegation rivals Middlesex.
With 49 points between them and last-place Kent, plus the debut of West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite, this team has no real need to worry about relegation.
Rory Burns, captain of Surrey, recently stated on BBC Radio London:
That was a fantastic showing from us, essentially the whole way through. The wickets kept falling on us, especially on Monday.
As the team who lost the toss, we expected the pitch to improve over the course of the four days, making it more favorable for batting. What occurred was the last thing I expected.
However, as captain, I find my job to be quite simple with a bowling attack as strong as ours. Kemar Roach’s return was welcome, and Dan Worrall’s performance stood out. He’s the team’s true leader, but Jordan Clark has also been performing admirably.
The following two weeks hold a great deal of anticipation for this group. After a hectic month of traveling here, there, and everywhere, it’s been nice to reunite as a team. We were ecstatic to be reunited in the locker room.
First team coach for Warwickshire, Mark Robinson, recently spoke with BBC Radio WM.
“On a really terrific cricket pitch, where 250 to 300 was probably around par, we were out-bowled and out-batted.
They almost reached 400, but we kept breaking out of there. We didn’t want it to be Monday. After what transpired yesterday, today’s events were inevitable.
We were a touch shorthanded because to injuries and absences, but Dan Worrall was fantastic throughout the match and Jordan Clark also bowled quite well.
None of that is an excuse, though; we should be better than we have been. “Kraigg Brathwaite only arrived the day before this game, Ed Barnard had never batted at number three before, and Chris Benjamin has not had that much cricket in this format recently. As a team, we still should have been better than we were.