Wickets all round at the Oval
Even Mark Ramprakash struggled to bring a semblance of common sense batting to LV= County Championship proceedings at the Kia Oval, where a rash of 15 wickets fell on a helter-skelter second day.
Having dismissed Kent for 250 to gain a first-innings advantage of 137, Surrey then stumbled to 138 for seven by the mid-point of a Division Two match played more like a Twenty20 bash than a conventional championship tussle.
Despite reasonable batting conditions and the fact Kent are without three frontline bowlers, the wicket count continued to increase as Surrey lost their first four leg before to ill-disciplined shots.
Openers Rory Hamilton-Brown and Jason Roy fell to on-loan Hampshire seamer David Balcombe, who later returned to have Tom Maynard caught behind.
First-innings centurion Zander de Bruyn played around a rare straight one from Robbie Joseph before Ramprakash perished for 20 from an uncharacteristic rush of blood and an attempted leg-side flick against left-armer Ashley Shaw.
Surrey’s demise continued late in the day when occasional leg-spinner Joe Denly snared Steven Davies for 39 and Gareth Batty without scoring as Kent restricted the lead to 275.
Having resumed at a parlous overnight position of 26 for two - still 361 in arrears - Kent appeared destined to follow on.
They lost four wickets for 35 runs in the morning session as Sam Northeast played outside the line of a Stuart Meaker off-cutter that brushed off stump and, in Meaker’s next over, Martin van Jaarsveld edged low to first slip to go without scoring.
Kent captain Rob Key walked across his stumps, aiming to work Tim Linley to leg, only to fall lbw and Darren Stevens padded up to the same bowler to make it 87 for six.
Alex Blake and Geraint Jones enjoyed good fortune and Blake would have gone for a duck had Hamilton-Brown held on to a sharp low chance at slip.
As it was, the pair flourished to set a new seventh-wicket record stand against Surrey, beating the 132 posted by George Collins and Jack Hubble at the Mote in Maidstone in 1926 by six runs.
They took Kent to the brink of avoiding the follow-on before Jones, on 61, aimed a reverse-sweep against off-spinner Batty only to balloon a bat-pad catch to Roy at short-leg.
Ten runs on, Wahab Riaz mowed a good length ball from Batty to Ramprakash at ‘cow corner’, bringing in Balcombe, who forced through the covers for four to ensure Surrey would bat again.
Two balls later Balcombe lost his off stump to a Chris Tremlett yorker and, only four short of his second championship century, Blake tossed his own wicket away.
Turning for two to deep cover, he was sent back by last man Shaw to be run out at the non-striker’s end by Roy's throw. The left-hander had faced 126 balls and hit 16 fours and a six.