IN a gripping finish, Morne Morkel’s superb 6-57 bowled Surrey to a dramatic six-run win against Lancashire in the pink-ball Specsavers County Championship match at the Kia Oval.

Will Jacks, the substitute fielder, took his third brilliant short leg catch of the innings as Morkel dismissed last man Matt Parkinson for seven to bowl out Lancashire for 264 and clinch overwhelming title favourites Surrey’s seventh win from nine matches.

Morkel also hit the top of Graham Onions’ off stump in his previous over as, armed with the second new ball immediately after the final day’s first session, the giant South African paceman proved to be the difference – just – in a thrilling finale.

First, Morkel took 3-15 in a fierce six-over spell on the final morning, as Lancashire slid to 209-8 as they chased 271 for victory, and then he returned to split an heroic ninth wicket stand of 57 between Onions and Tom Bailey.

Onions made a courageous 29, including sixes over long on off both Morkel, in the first session, and then Sam Curran when the England all-rounder bowled the very first ball with the second new ball.

Bailey remained 20 not out, from 58 balls in another splendid effort, and when Parkinson was out half the Surrey team set off in pursuit of a celebrating Jacks as he sprinted wildly away towards the Peter May Stand while the other half of the team ran joyously after Morkel as he wheeled away in triumph towards the other side of the ground.

Lancashire are now bottom of the County Championship division one table and in real danger of being relegated.

Red Rose assistant coach Mark Chilton said: “At this stage it’s pretty devastating for everyone in the dressing room because when the margin of defeat is just six runs then you haven’t done very much wrong.

"It was a great game of cricket but in the end it was a world-class fast bowler who tipped it in their favour even though we showed a lot of fight to get so close.”