Burns hits Lord's ton
Rory Burns scored his second LV= County Championship century of the season as Surrey recovered from the shock of losing captain Graeme Smith for a duck to reach 267 for four against Middlesex at Lord's.
Smith, who scored 259 for South Africa against England on his first appearance at Lord's in 2003, had no hesitation in batting first when, in glorious sunshine, he won the toss on what looked like a good pitch.
He had failed to get off the mark in six overs, however, when he prodded forward to a ball from Tim Murtagh that was slanting across him and edged to first slip where Dawid Malan held a good catch down by his ankles.
It was the perfect start for Middlesex, the championship pacemakers after beating Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in their first two matches, but they were frustrated by a second-wicket partnership of 147 between Burns and Arun Harinath.
The scoring rate was painfully slow against some tight Middlesex bowling but the lack of pace in the pitch took the sting out of England fast bowler Steven Finn and Toby Roland-Jones, who is in the Lions squad to face New Zealand next week, and Burns and Harinath were eventually rewarded for their patience and application.
Only 45 runs came from 30 overs in the morning session but the afternoon yielded 99 off 34 overs and it was not until the second over after tea that Finn had Harinath caught behind by John Simpson for 61.
Burns had a couple of scares, first on 35 when he might have been caught behind off Murtagh, then on 38, when he would have been run out if Paul Stirling had hit the stumps from gully, but he thoroughly deserved his hundred.
He had been batting for five hours and 20 minutes, faced 267 balls and hit 12 fours in his 114 when he tried to drive Murtagh and got an inside edge into his stumps.
Vikram Solanki had joined him in a third-wicket stand of 64 in 17 overs until he was caught behind driving at Corey Collymore for 43 before Zander de Bruyn and Steven Davies saw Surrey through to the close.