Davies and Burns head Surrey riposte
Steven Davies and Rory Burns made determined hundreds to lead a superb Surrey fightback against Somerset on the third day of the LV= County Championship Division One match at the Kia Oval.
Davies hit a six-hour 147 and Burns 115 as Surrey reached 366 for nine declared in reply to Somerset's first innings of 384, having begun the day on a wobbly 98 for four.
At stumps, on six without loss from two second-innings overs, Somerset openers Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton had increased their side's slender overall lead to 24.
Surrey's fifth-wicket pair added 159 in 55 overs, after Burns resumed on 43 and his fellow left-hander Davies on nine.
At the start of the day Surrey supporters feared a follow-on, with 137 more runs still needed to avoid that situation, but by the end of it their team was virtually on level terms.
While the 22-year-old Burns was confirming with his third first-class hundred the fine impression he made last year, when scoring 741 first-class runs for Surrey at an average of almost 50 in his first full season, it was Davies who played perhaps the most significant innings of the day.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Davies, who has made eight one-day international and five Twenty20 international appearances for England, endured a difficult last summer when he scored just 438 first-class runs at 21.90, with only one hundred, and faded out of England's plans.
Like many of the Surrey team, he was badly affected by the tragic death of Tom Maynard in June, but it seems that a winter of reflection and hard work has put his career back on track.
He certainly looked as if he had regained his appetite for the game, batting almost all day and facing 269 balls in total and hitting 22 fours.
As ever with Davies, there were free-flowing strokes to admire, but there was also a clear desire not to give his wicket away as the Somerset bowlers probed with discipline on a slow surface.
Burns finally fell, after an innings spanning 345 minutes and 285 balls, and featuring 19 fours, when he tickled a leg-side catch to keeper Craig Kieswetter to give Steve Kirby some reward for his efforts.
Then, after Gary Wilson - dropped in the gully on 15 - had nibbled at an outswinger from Alfonso Thomas to go for 17, Davies was joined in a further stand of 71 in 23 overs by Gareth Batty.
Batty pulled the disappointing George Dockrell's left-arm spin for four and six from successive balls before being lbw for 36 to Jamie Overton.
After Stuart Meaker wafted an edged catch to Kieswetter off Kirby, to fall for a duck, Davies' long innings finally ended when he swung a steepling catch to Kirby off Overton to prompt an immediate declaration.
Both Kirby and Overton bowled well for hauls of 3-89 and 3-75 respectively.