KSN are proud to support:

Surrey take charge at Beckenham
Surrey take charge at Beckenham

Division One leaders Surrey reached 318 for four at stumps, on day one of their LV= Insurance County Championship with Kent at Beckenham. 

Oliie Pope hit 96 in a stand of 178 with Ben Foakes, who was unbeaten on 86, while opener Ryan Patel made 76. 

The division’s bottom side had reduced Surrey to 123 for three shortly after lunch, but despite two for 73 from Nathan Gilchrist, Kent laboured for most of the day.  

Backed by a sizable number of travelling fans, Surrey won the toss and chose to bat, to a collective groan from the home fan base, demoralised after conceding 500 runs or more in every first innings so far this season. 

Their initial pessimism proved well-grounded as openers Rory Burns and Patel were almost entirely unmolested during the morning session. Aside from an edge from the latter that just eluded the slips, Surrey suffered few alarms and Patel brought up his 50 when he pulled Gilchrist for four. 

They were 105 without loss at lunch, only for Kent to drag themselves back into contention with three wickets for 17 runs at the start of the afternoon session. Patel slashed Matt Quinn to Zak Crawley at first slip and Burns was then lbw to Gilchrist for 30. 

Hashim Amla made just 12 when he feathered the same bowler behind and for the next hour the scoring rate slowed, but Pope and Foakes tilted the momentum back in Surrey’s favour by batting through the rest of the session. 

Pope then drove Darren Stevens for two to pass fifty, helping the visitors to 206 for three at tea. In a one-sided evening session, Foakes took a single from Daniel Bell-Drummond to reach his half-century, but Pope fell short of three figures when he was strangled down the leg side by Stevens. 

It was the first time Pope had been dismissed in the nineties in county cricket, but although Stevens looked threatening in the gathering gloom, Kent were unable to inflict any further damage, with Jamie Overton unbeaten on 12 at stumps. 

Surrey’s Ryan Patel said: “We couldn’t have asked for much more to be honest, after winning the toss and putting a good platform in up top.”

“For Pope and Foakes to bat like they did through the middle and end sessions was fantastic. It was nice to bat with Burnsie for a while, we both played really well to bat through the first session. 

“It’s definitely frustrating to get out the way I did but I’m still happy with the way I played. Ollie and Ben played beautifully and to bat the way they did. I’m gutted for Popie that he’s just missed out on three figures, but hopefully Foaksie can get there. ” 

“The only way we can really put them under pressure is to bat big and bat long.” 

Kent’s bowling coach Simon Cook said: “Losing the toss here is never a good thing so from that point of view it was obviously a little bit of a disappointing start to the day, but having said that, 300 odd runs in a day on a very wicket we’re not too disappointed.”

“We controlled the run rate, and we’d have liked to have bowled better in the first session in particular, but how the boys came back, in that session in particular when we got 3 for 23 and got a reward for hitting good lengths more consistently kind of dragged us back into it.”

“If we were two more wickets on we’d be very, very happy with the day. When you look at this ground you need 450 or 550 and that comes with a bit of pressure as well, so that’s what we have to keep reminding the Surrey batters.”

“They’ve not got away from us yet and two or three quick wickets tomorrow and we’re right in this game.”