County Championship: Surrey dominate Somerset as Rory Burns makes runs again

Rory Burns
Rory Burns seemed on course for a fifth County Championship century of 2018 before falling for 78
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day one):
Surrey 368-4: Stoneman 85, Burns 78, Elgar 72*
Somerset: Yet to bat
Surrey (4 pts), Somerset (1 pt)

County champions Surrey dominated day one of their match against Somerset at Taunton, with England hopeful Rory Burns continuing his impressive form.

The Surrey captain passed 1,300 runs for the season as he made 78 before being bowled by seamer Tim Groenewald.

He had put on 147 with opening partner Mark Stoneman (85), while England one-day batsman Jason Roy struck 63 in his first Division One game of 2018.

The visitors reached stumps on 368-4, with Dean Elgar unbeaten on 72.

Elgar will be joined on the second morning by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (11 not out), after Ollie Pope was caught at mid-wicket for 44 before the close.

Surrey sealed their first County Championship title for 16 years by beating Worcestershire last week and are still on course to finish the campaign unbeaten.

Second-placed Somerset had been their closest challengers before that point but, having elected to bat first at the County Ground, Burns and Stoneman dominated the morning session to put Surrey in command.

After Stoneman was caught at backward point following a sharp Jamie Overton (2-76) delivery, Burns combined with Roy - who struck seven fours and two sixes in his 89-ball knock - to add a further 59 for the second wicket.

The visitors require a further 32 runs from the next 14 overs to achieve a fifth batting point - and their 41st of the season.

Somerset skipper Tom Abell:

"I feel I have now joined the elite of Somerset cricket, having been presented with my county cap. It's a very proud day for me and my family.

"I didn't think we were at our best as a team. The bowlers did well at times, but couldn't quite sustain it for long enough periods to build pressure.

"Surrey are a very good side, as we all know. We need to bounce back quickly in the morning."

Surrey batsman Jason Roy told BBC Radio London:

"It was great for me to be playing Championship cricket again. My whites were all ironed and after a lot of work in preparation over the past few weeks it was good to be actually out there constructing an innings.

"The openers made my job easy because by the time I went in they had laid a great foundation. While our total might suggest it is a flat batting track, that is far from being the case.

"The ball was turning and doing a bit for the seamers. As a team, I felt we batted really well and put ourselves in a strong position."

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