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Brilliant Chopra puts Warwickshire in control

A season's best 187 not out from opener Varun Chopra helped reigning champions Warwickshire dominate winless Surrey on the opening day of their LV= County Championship clash in Guildford.

The former Essex player survived a sticky start after Warwickshire elected to make first use of the pitch to bat through the day and reach his second championship century of the campaign and third in all first-class matches.

In the process, Chopra also surpassed his previous best for 2013 of 163, scored against MCC in the Champion County match at Abu Dhabi in March, and took the visitors to 359 for three.

The tall right-hander survived three leg-before appeals in the space of four balls when on 32 in an over from Zander de Bruyn.

Then, only one run later, the 25-year-old scampered for a single to backward square-leg and would have been run-out by a distance had Vikram Solanki been successful with his shy at the striker's end stumps.

As it was, Chopra joined forces with Ian Westwood to post 153 - the best opening stand for Warwickshire this season.

Having toiled away for the best part of three hours in the warmest conditions of the summer thus far, Surrey finally broke the visitors' first-wicket stand after 43.5 overs.

Westwood - on 71 - rocked back when attempting to cut a length-ball from left-arm spinner Gary Keedy and saw the ball turn sharply from the rough, clip the top of leg stump and make it 153 for one.

Will Porterfield's poor trot continued when he went for 11; in his 56th championship innings since joining from Gloucestershire, the Ireland skipper has yet to reach three figures.

Aiming an expansive cover drive at de Bruyn, Porterfield edged the ball on to his stumps.

Two balls after tea and without adding to his interval score of nine, Jim Troughton - looking to push-drive a short ball from Stuart Meaker through the covers - dragged on to exit with his side on 208 for three.

Half an hour after tea, Surrey replaced Jon Lewis - who had sent down 18 wicketless overs for 40 runs - with Jade Dernbach; the latter had drove from Nottingham following his release from England one-day international duty.

The new ball and personnel made no difference to Chopra or Tim Ambrose, the latter dispatching Dernbach's first delivery from the Pavilion End through extra-cover for four on his way to a 62-ball half-century.

The Warwickshire fourth-wicket pair had no trouble in making it through to the close with Chopra just 13 short of a double hundred and Ambrose on 64 not out.

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