County Championship: Ben Foakes hits 69 as Surrey dominate Essex
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day one):|
|Surrey 342-7: Jacks 88, Patel 70*, Foakes 69; Siddle 4-82|
|Essex: Yet to bat|
|Surrey 3 pts, Essex 2 pts|
England's Ben Foakes struck 69 as Surrey began their County Championship title defence with a fruitful opening day against Essex at The Oval.
Foakes, dropped on nought, hit 14 fours before being caught by Alastair Cook at first slip off Simon Harmer (2-67).
International team-mate Rory Burns was earlier caught behind for 31, while Ollie Pope, who made his Test debut against India last summer, made four.
Surrey closed on 342-7, with Will Jacks (88) falling shortly before stumps.
Jacks, who rose to prominence in March with a 25-ball century in a pre-season 10-over game against Lancashire, looked destined for his maiden first-class century before being bowled by Peter Siddle (4-82).
But Ryan Patel, with whom he had put on 151 for the fifth wicket, remained unbeaten on 70 - an innings that has so far lasted 223 deliveries.
Essex dismissed the Brown Caps for just 67 on their way to a dramatic one-wicket victory in their final match of 2018, but there was never likely to be a repeat of that collapse after Surrey won the toss and elected to bat under clear skies in London.
Captain Burns, the Championship's leading run scorer last season, looked in good touch until he edged behind off Jamie Porter (1-85), while opening partner Mark Stoneman reached 45 before falling to Siddle.
Pope then lasted just three deliveries to leave Surrey 86-3, but Foakes knuckled down with Patel to put on 95 for the fourth wicket and wrestle back momentum for the hosts.
Former England skipper Cook - making his second County Championship appearance since his Test retirement - then snaffled Foakes in the slips, before Patel combined with Jacks to push the home side on further.
Jacks' dismissal sparked a flurry of three wickets for nine runs in the final six overs, but Liam Plunkett and Patel will resume on day two.
Surrey's Will Jacks told BBC Radio London::
"We're really happy with how the day went. It was doing a little bit this morning so to get to 75-0 was really good from the openers.
"We lost a few before lunch but Foakesy was really positive after lunch, then Ryan and myself put on a good 150-run partnership to put us into a really good position.
"We were disappointed to lose three more in the last eight overs, but overall I think we're still in a strong place."
Essex paceman Peter Siddle:
"We blew out a little bit of rust, but it wasn't the best of day's for us, if I'm honest. Those last couple of wickets before the close salvaged it a little bit.
"We hit our straps for a while just before lunch and went into the break in a good position, but we dropped that catch off Foakes in the first over after lunch and he got some confidence from that.
"We built up a bit of pressure at the back end of the day and once we did that from both ends, we generated wickets. Hopefully we can pick up their last three wickets, then go out there and show what we can do with the stick."