Surrey impress with the bat
Zander de Bruyn’s first hundred of the season and polished half-centuries from youngsters Rory Burns and Tom Jewell ensured Surrey made a commanding start to their final LV= County Championship match of 2012 against relegated Lancashire.
Following two days of rain at Aigburth, a fixture with nothing but pride on offer saw both sides finally get under way at the start of day three.
Surrey closed on 324 for five from 99 overs, with de Bruyn unbeaten on 105 off 229 balls and Jewell 57 not out. Burns had earlier scored 73.
Lancashire handed first-class debuts to scholarship fast bowler Tom Bailey, 21, and England Under-19 wicketkeeper Alex Davies.
Steven Croft was also named captain for the first time in the championship in place of the rested Glen Chapple. He celebrated by winning the toss.
All-rounder Jewell, 21, and fast bowler Matt Dunn were given their first championship outings of the season for Surrey.
On the day when Rory Hamilton-Brown was given permission to speak to other clubs, Surrey demonstrated they still have plenty of young batting talent coming through their ranks.
Opener Burns looked calm and collected during his 139-ball stay at the crease, which included six fours.
Bowled offering no shot to Chapple for a golden duck in the reverse fixture at Guildford, he prospered against some swing and seam movement to post his fourth championship fifty of the summer as Surrey reached lunch at 109 for two.
The 22-year-old left-hander missed out on his second ton of the season when he was caught behind by Davies off Tom Smith during the visitors’ most difficult spell of the day.
Having reached 160 for two as Burns shared in partnerships of 50, 51 and 59, they lost three wickets for the addition of only 18 runs in 40 balls.
Luke Procter castled Jason Roy and had the out-of-form Steven Davies caught behind in the space of three balls in the 57th over as Surrey slipped to 178 for five.
However, de Bruyn, whose previous season’s best of 94 came against Lancashire in July, and Jewell steadied the ship with the fourth stand of 50 or more in the innings.
De Bruyn hit left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan for two straight sixes at the start of the afternoon and evening sessions on the way to a 221-ball hundred.
He and Jewell, who reached his fifty off 115 deliveries and faced 126 in all, shared an unbroken 146 inside 43 overs for the sixth wicket.
With both sides’ fate already secured, there is the opportunity to set up a final-day run-chase for Lancashire with a couple of innings forfeits.