Brilliant Ballance puts Yorkshire on top
Highlights from day one of the Division One clash between Surrey and Yorkshire
Gary Ballance celebrated his inclusion in England's Ashes party by hitting an unbeaten 72 as Yorkshire posted on the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division One clash with Surrey at the Kia Oval.
Phil Jaques had earlier held the Tykes' top-order together with a vital 88, before Ballance took centre stage and moved past 1,000 championship runs for the season.
Surrey, already condemned to life in Division Two next year, handed first championship starts of the season to Matthew Dunn and Tom Jewell.
After winning the toss, Yorkshire saw off the new ball to be 81 for two at lunch. Adam Lyth tickled the first delivery of the match down to the rope at fine-leg before despatching Tim Linley for two further boundaries four overs later.
But Dunn hit back for the hosts when Alex Lees was brilliantly caught by Steven Davies, who had to dive low to his left to claim Gary Wilson's parry from third slip in the sixth over.
Dunn switched ends and had Lyth caught down the leg side for 24, but Jacques and Kane Williamson saw the visitors safely through to the break.
The pair shared in a productive third-wicket stand of 88 in just over 31 overs, with Jaques hitting two leg-side fours in the first over after lunch before bringing up a 96-ball half-century, which he celebrated by drilling a delivery from Dunn straight back past the bowler.
Dunn, who overcame a shaky start to beat the bat regularly, nearly struck again when Jaques, on 61, survived a difficult caught and bowled chance.
With the pitch already taking spin, Williamson, shuffling back, was bowled through the gate by Zafar Ansari for 23.
Jaques used his feet to great effect to lift Ansari over long-on for six, but departed four overs later when the ball stopped on him and Gareth Batty was presented with a straightforward catch at short midwicket.
The Australian's 88, which was three hours in the making, came off 169 balls and included 12 fours and a six.
Jonny Bairstow and Ballance, who started the day on 995 championship runs for the season, added 58 in 14 overs before a wayward post-tea spell from Tom Jewell eventually brought the wicket of Bairstow, who was lbw for 24.
A sixth-wicket stand of 69 between Ballance and Andrew Gale saw Yorkshire press home their advantage. Having hit Jewell for three boundaries in the space of four deliveries, Ballance accelerated to his fifty, which came off 73 balls and included seven fours.
The second new ball produced a flurry of fours, including three in an over from Gale, who was quick to rock back and pull whenever Linley dropped short.
Gale fell for 29 to a well-judged catch at third slip off Jewell to make it 296 for six, but Ballance went through to the close.