County Championship: Rory Burns passes 1,000 runs for season for leaders Surrey
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day one):|
|Surrey 256-4: Burns 90, Elgar 75; Siddle 2-66|
|Essex: Yet to bat|
|Essex 1 pt, Surrey 2 pts|
Rory Burns pressed his case to be Alastair Cook's successor as England opener, making 90 to put leaders Surrey in charge against champions Essex.
The left-hander and Dean Elgar (75) put on 148 for the second wicket as Surrey reached 256-4 at stumps, having been asked to bat first at Chelmsford.
Burns also passed 1,000 Championship runs for the season before playing on to his own stumps off Peter Siddle.
The Australian paceman was the pick of the Essex attack, taking 2-66.
Surrey captain Burns, 28, has been touted for an England Test place this summer, but was overlooked for a spot in the squad for the final Test against India, starting on Friday at The Oval.
There was, however, room for Burns' team-mate Ollie Pope, who will play the first two days of this fixture before joining up with the rest of the England squad on Thursday.
Pope, dropped after just two Tests against India, made a promising 21 coming in at number four, before he edged a drive to Simon Harmer at second slip off Siddle.
Earlier, Burns' opening partner Mark Stoneman, who will also be looking to reclaim his England Test place this winter, made 12 before edging Sam Cook to Tom Westley.
Essex bowling coach Dimitri Mascarenhas:
"Winning the toss and bowling, we were hoping for four wickets before lunch to put ourselves on the front foot.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. We bowled pretty good considering the ball did nip around, but that's cricket.
"We'd much rather be in Surrey's position at the moment. But, tomorrow's a new day and both batsmen will have to come back and start again.
"If we bowl like we did first session hopefully we can get a bit more luck and those edges will go our way."
Surrey batsman Dean Elgar told BBC Radio London:
"I think it was a good bowling performance by Essex, they hit their areas a lot more and created a lot of opportunities. But, luck was on our side and we'll take it.
"It was really tough after lunch where they settled into a game plan, which they didn't veer too far off and it was really tough for me and Rory (Burns).
"There's promising signs for when we have the ball in our hands with our three big seamers. There does seem to be a bit of inconsistent bounce and a bit of spin on offer.
On Rory Burns' England Test prospects: "He's doing everything right at the moment. It's not for me to say yes or no, currently I'm very fortunate to have him in the changing room with me.
"He's a very good senior player and he seems like his game's really taking off now, it's evolved and he's matured on and off the pitch as a player.
"He's definitely done everything right to certainly put himself in the frame."