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The county title was won in a thriller reminding us how the West Midlands club retains the heart of first-class cricket

When 22 players gather in huge stadiums built for full houses in midsummer, and rattle around in late season gloom to the applause of 20 hundred-weight of empty tip-up chairs and a crisp wrapper, County Championship cricket can feel a little soulless.

But not at New Road, not last week. There in full view of the glorious cathedral, that has chimed the passing of so many seasons, Surrey clinched the County Championship for the first time since 2002. It couldn’t have happened in a more perfect setting.

Related: County cricket talking points: Surrey's youngsters deserve their title

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