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Surrey turn the screw on day two

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Rory Burns’ second LV= Insurance County Championship century of the season helped leaders Surrey into a strong position on the second day of the match with Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Unbeaten on 35 overnight, the England Test opener went on to score 113, off 217 balls, with 16 fours and a six, to help his side post 382 for seven in their first innings, a lead of 202.

Will Jacks contributed a fluent 88, with 10 fours, and Jordan Clark 63 not out as Surrey capitalised on a true pitch.

Before play started, it was announced that Somerset’s Craig Overton had failed a concussion reassessment after being struck on the helmet by twin brother Jamie yesterday and would be replaced in the match by Marchant de Lange. Hashim Amla was unable to resume his innings for Surrey because of illness and retired not out on his overnight 19, with Ben Geddes taking over as Burns’ partner.

The pair took few risks until Burns moved to his half-century with a top-edged pull off Peter Siddle that flew over the fine leg boundary for six.

Somerset’s bowlers gave little away, without threatening. Burns had moved untroubled to 80 when edging a drive off Kasey Aldridge just wide of second slip.

It was 128 for one when de Lange was introduced to the attack. He made a breakthrough with 16 runs added as Geddes, who had left the ball well in moving to 21, nicked a defensive shot to first slip.

By lunch, Surrey had progressed to 151 for two from 57 overs, with Burns unbeaten on 97 and de Lange having figures of one for eight from seven overs, five of them maidens.

Burns moved to his 23rd First Class ton, off 203 balls, with a single off Siddle. Never flamboyant, it was an exemplary innings in terms of shot selection and concentration.

He lost another partner with the score on 170 when Jamie Smith, on six, edged to wicketkeeper Steve Davies, giving Aldridge, a first day concussion replacement for Josh Davey, his maiden First Class wicket.

Burns departed 12 runs later, left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe finding an outside edge to slip with his first delivery of the day.

Surrey were just two runs ahead at 182 for four, with Amla still sidelined, but Jacks and Cameron Steel dampened Somerset hopes of a fightback by calmly adding 65 before tea.

The final session began with Siddle darting the second new ball into Steel’s pads from wide on the bowling crease to dismiss him lbw for 22.

Jacks went confidently to a 95-ball half-century, including six fours, and some of the most attractive shots of the day. He found a capable partner in Clark as they set about trying to bat Somerset out of the game.

Clark had a life on 30, Gregory failing to hold a sharp one-handed chance at slip off Lammonby, before Surrey secured three batting points, reaching 331 for five off 110 overs.

Jacks looked set to follow Burns to three figures when bowled between bat and pad by de Lange, who almost struck again when Clark’s pull shot went through Siddle’s hands at fine leg for six.

Clark moved to fifty off 65 balls and Jamie Overton clubbed a straight six off van der Merwe before Tom Abell had him caught behind for 20 as the visitors completed a more than satisfactory day.

At the close of play, Marchant de Lange said: “I got a phone call early this morning to report to the ground for 12th man duties and during the warm-up was told that Craig Overton had failed his concussion reassessment. I think he developed a headache overnight.

“The pitch played better than yesterday, giving the batters more opportunities for scoring. I just feel that had we been a little more patient it would have paid off. Towards the end of days like that you tend to go searching for wickets more.

“I am very optimistic by nature and I don’t feel we are out of the game. We need to take quick wickets in the morning and then bat big, which we have the talent in our ranks to do.”

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Next MatchSomerset V Derbyshire Falcons

09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground