County wrap: How the Aussies fared in the eighth round

Australia's reduced county contingent played out some thrilling matches in round eight, with Sean Abbott part of a record run chase and Nathan McAndrew a final-over finish

Sean Abbott and Daniel Worrall have played their part in one of the most extraordinary triumphs in County Championship history as Surrey overhauled a mammoth fourth innings target of 501.

Australia's contingent following the first half of the T20 Blast has been reduced to four due to tomorrow's Ashes opener with just Abbott, Wes Agar, Nathan McAndrew and Peter Handscomb remaining in the competition.

Agar was on the receiving end of Surrey's final day chase – which was the second-highest in County Championship history – toiling away for 33 overs to return figures of 1-119 as Surrey reached 5-501 to beat Kent by five wickets.

Former England batter Dom Sibley was the mainstay in the 146.1 over chase with a marathon unbeaten 140 from 415 balls – which spanned nine hours and 40 minutes.

In the week 'Bazball' and the Ashes will take centre stage, it was a quaint reminder of another age as Sibley, who three years ago scored the slowest England Test hundred for 20 years, led Surrey past their previous highest chase of 410 back in 2002.

Only once in the County Championship had a side chased more than 500 to win; Patsy Hendren's 206no pushing Middlesex to 6-502 to beat Nottinghamshire by four wickets at Trent Bridge way back in 1925.

At the start of the final day, Kent had needed seven wickets and Surrey 238 runs, but dropped England gloveman Ben Foakes (124) was instrumental in helping Sibley make the target look straightforward after Jamie Smith's swift hundred on Tuesday had set the pace.

Sean Abbott (Surrey)

Figures: 4-52, 1-95

Scores: 34

Season to date: 21 wickets at 28.19, 298 runs at 49.66

Abbott, who is enjoying a brilliant summer for the reigning division one champions in both red and white-ball formats, helped set up the unlikely win, taking 4-52 in Kent's first innings and another wicket in the second. His all-round abilities – which was on full display during his incredible 110no in the T20 Blast last month – would no doubt have him at the forefront of Aussie selectors’ minds should they need another quick during the five-Test Ashes series. He was ably supported by former South Australian paceman Worrall, who collected 3-63 in the second innings after his 1-55 in the first. Worrall was Surrey's leading bowler last year and has snaffled 28 wickets at 21.71 in 2023 to sit equal top of the of the club's wickets tally.

Wes Agar (Kent)

Figures: 3-32, 1-119

Scores: 51, 0

Season to date: 16 wickets at 30.75

After taking 3-32 and then scoring 51 in the first innings, Agar crashed back to earth in the second, going wicketless for 32.4 overs after claiming former England Test opener Rory Burns in the opening over of Surrey's second innings. But he remains Kent's leading wicket-taker for the 2023 season with 16 in what has proved a tough campaign for the Canterbury-based county, who sit second last in division one with a solitary win.

Nathan McAndrew (Sussex)

Figures: 0-60, 3-76

Scores: 65

Season to date: 18 wickets at 24.72, 127 runs at 31.75

McAndrew was welcomed back into the Sussex XI for their clash with Worcestershire after being kept out of the three previous four-day matches due to Steve Smith's three-game cameo. And he showed coach Paul Farbrace what he'd been missing on the opening day at Hove with the second-highest score of 65 in Sussex's first innings 348. McAndrew was also in the thick of it in as the match went down to the wire on day four with all results still possible heading into the final over, which was bowled by the South Australian allrounder. Worcestershire needed just nine runs with three wickets left to reach their target of 386 but McAndrew (3-76) proved nerveless, taking a wicket with the first ball and giving up just three off the over. Joe Leach needed a six off the final ball to earn a famous win but McAndrew had him swing and miss, leaving the visitors stranded on 8-381.

Image Id: 711C29A1B1DB456DB32EE40E04057545 Image Caption: With Worcestershire needing eight off the final over, Nathan McAndrew conceded just three runs // Getty

Peter Handscomb (Leicestershire)

Scores: 25, 3

Season to date: 449 runs at 40.81

After a promising start in the first innings was cut short, the Victorian skipper watched on for most of the second as Colin Ackermann (78no) and Rehan Ahmed (71) led Leicestershire's fourth innings chase of 221 before falling to Pakistan spinner Zafar Gohar for three with 15 runs to win. It's been a familiar story for Handscomb in his past three matches – reaching 25 in three of his six innings but failing to get past 26.

Did not play: Sam Whiteman (Northamptonshire), Peter Siddle (Somerset), Michael Neser (Glamorgan)

Australians in the County Championship 

Durham: Matthew Kuhnemann

Essex: Daniel Sams (T20s only)

Glamorgan: Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser

Gloucestershire: Marcus Harris

Hampshire: Nathan Ellis, Ben McDermott (both T20s only)

Kent: Wes Agar, Kane Richardson (T20s only)

Leicestershire: Peter Handscomb (April and May)

Northamptonshire: Chris Tremain (April 6-23), Jordan Buckinhgam (May 1-21), Sam Whiteman (until August), Chris Lynn (T20s), Andrew Tye (T20s)

Somerset: Peter Siddle (until July), Cameron Bancroft (until May 7)

Surrey: Sean Abbott (until July), Dan Worrall (UK passport)

Sussex: Nathan McAndrew (until July), Steve Smith (May 4-21)

Warwickshire: Glenn Maxwell (T20s only)

Yorkshire: Mickey Edwards (UK passport)