Surrey continued their good form on day one at The Oval against Hampshire, as they posted 260-6 on the opening day in the capital.
Whilst 21 wickets went down on the opening day in Taunton, 17 at Leicestershire and 13 apiece at Glamorgan and Trent Bridge, Surrey’s effort to lose just three makes that seem a miraculous effort.
On a day where batsmen got in and out, Rory Burns’ century was the standout on day one, whilst Ben Foakes sits just three short of a half-century overnight.
Dominic Sibley was the first to go for a typically pedestrian 11 for the hosts, as Gareth Berg made the breakthrough just under an hour into the day’s play.
Burns was joined by Kumar Sangakkara and the pair went on to put on 46 in just ten overs. Sangakkara had raced to 26 in just 31 balls, when he was caught behind off Gareth Andrew.
It was fairly even at lunch, with the score 93-2, and Hampshire struck again just 20 minutes after lunch when Brad Wheal caught Arun Harinath off the bowling of Ryan McLaren for nine.
A short break for bad light wasn’t enough to faze Burns, as he went through to fifty as well as 5,000 first-class runs for Surrey.
The hosts were just beginning to swing the balance of power as Steven Davies, had amassed 32 from 36 balls, but Wheal took his first wicket when he found the outside edge of Davies mid way through the afternoon session.
The pair had put on a counter-attacking 48 in 12 overs after the dismissals of Sangakkara and Harinath.
The light was to intervene once again after tea, but it wasn’t to deprive Burns of an opening day hundred. He went to stubborn century from 205 balls with 15 fours and a six, but could only last two more deliveries.
Wheal was at it again as good work from Tom Alsop in the field meant Burns was sent back for 101.
Sam Curran was coming into the game fresh off a career-best 96 in Surrey’s last Specsavers County Championship game, but he could only make 17 as Hampshire prised out one more Surrey batsman two overs before the close of play.
Curran was caught at short leg off the bowling of Liam Dawson, fresh off his first England ODI cap, leaving Surrey 255-6.
Older brother Tom joined Foakes and the pair saw out the last 2.5 overs of the day, whilst Foakes will resume unbeaten on 47 on Wednesday morning with Curran three not out.
Despite going at over five an over on day one, Wheal managed to pick up a pair of Surrey wickets as Berg, McLaren and Dawson shared a wicket apiece.
Just 80 overs were available on day one, but considering the state of play around the country, Surrey will feel their day one efforts are more than reasonable.