County Championship: Somerset's George Bartlett hits 137 against Surrey

George Bartlett
George Bartlett hit 19 fours and one six in his innings of 137
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Guildford (day one)
Somerset 344: Bartlett 137; Morkel 4-64
Surrey 0-0
Surrey (3 pts) trail Somerset (3 pts) by 344 runs

George Bartlett's career-best 137 helped Somerset recover from a top-order collapse on day one of their match against Surrey at Guildford.

The 21-year-old came to the crease with his side wobbling on 35-3, but batted for more than four hours to bring up his third first-class hundred.

Tom Banton (44), Steve Davies (41) and Craig Overton (40) provided support.

But Bartlett's wicket saw Somerset stutter from 298-5 to 344 all out before Surrey saw out two overs.

It was a disappointing final hour for the visitors, who went into the match seven points behind Division One leaders Hampshire with a game in hand.

However, they are still likely to be pleased with their first-innings total after opener Azhar Ali withdrew with a throat infection and Lewis Gregory missed out through injury.

When Marcus Trescothick, Tom Abell and James Hildreth all went early, Bartlett shared stands of 95 with both fellow youngster Banton and wicketkeeper Davies and 73 with Overton.

Surrey's South African paceman Morne Morkel eventually enticed Bartlett to nick behind and then cleaned up the tail to finish with 4-64.

Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman saw out a maiden apiece before stumps to make sure the opening day ended just about even.

Surrey bowling coach Richard Johnson told BBC Radio London:

"We would have settled for that. We bowled really well. Batsmen get real value for their shots here and even good balls can go for four.

"Perhaps we had an opportunity to get them out for fewer than they got and we were a bit unlucky at times.

"But, to be fair, they batted well in the afternoon when it got a bit easier."

Somerset centurion George Bartlett:

"I had a let-off early on and I was pleased to make the most of it. We just had to get through the new ball. But you can score runs quickly at Guildford because the outfield is very fast and the pitch did get better to bat on.

"I was delighted to cash in. It's my second hundred of the season and I also got runs in the first game against Kent as well - I like to think I have taken my game to a new level this season.

"We thought 350-400 was about par on that wicket and it will be interesting to see how it plays tomorrow. We will look to contain them, build pressure and hopefully take advantage."