THE traditional County Championship season opener ended in a draw after the final day was washed out – in Dubai.
In a bizarre turn of events, the Champion County curtain-raiser between Surrey and the MCC was cut short in a city where it typically rains just FIVE days a year.
England star Ollie Pope had scored a magnificent 251 earlier in the match for 2018 winners Surrey, as they looked set for a crushing win.
But even leaving Britain doesn’t make you immune from the typical British weather it would seem.
Shortly after lunch on the fourth and final day the match officials called the game off – with the MCC leading by just ten runs with six wickets remaining.
Earlier in the match, an MCC XI featuring the likes of England stars Stuart Broad, Tom Westley and Dom Bess mustered just 265 all out on the flat Dubai track.
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Surrey themselves slipped to 38-2 and 80-3, losing England openers Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman cheaply, before the county’s youngsters took control.
Will Jacks – fresh from his record 25-ball century last week – made 20 as young wicketkeeper Jamie Smith joined Pope at the crease.
Smith hit a well-paced ton of his own – making 127 from 192 balls, including 16 fours and two sixes – as he and Pope put on 266 for the fifth wicket.
Pope meanwhile struck 23 boundaries and six maximums as he made use of the batting-friendly wicket.
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The MCC fared somewhat better in their second innings, with Will Rhodes and Dom Sibley putting on 190 for the first wicket – withe the later reached three figures.
But they later lost three wickets for just eight runs before the game was abandoned as a draw.
Surrey next host Durham MCCU on Thursday April 4, before kicking off their County Championship defence against Essex at the Oval a week later.