Rory Burns and his Surrey return to LV= County Championship action on Sunday against Somerset at Taunton, looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season and remain top of the table.
Attention turns back to the red ball after both sides have had seven games of Vitality blast T20 cricket. Both have already had plenty of success in the shorter format, Surrey riding high after winning six from seven, with one abandonment, and Somerset currently sitting second in the South Group, with five wins and two defeats from their seven games.
But it’s time to turn the focus back to the LV= County Championship, where Surrey were also the form side early in the season – indeed they have not lost a single game in any format all season – including a thrilling three-wicket win against Somerset at The Kia Oval, where Ryan Patel’s fourth innings hundred and Ben Foakes’ calm head saw Surrey home in a tense run chase after Tom Abell’s 150 and second-innings half century had ensured Surrey would need 236 to win.
In the LV= County Championship it has been boom or bust for Somerset so far, with four losses and two victories. They started with three defeats, unable to get enough runs on the board to give Craig Overton and Peter Siddle something to bowl at. They then won two on the bounce, scoring 458 and 591 and only having to bat once in both games, but they reverted to their early season form in the final game before the break, almost succumbing to Hampshire at Taunton by an innings after bowling the visitors out for 280!
Skipper Tom Abell (pictured) has 450 runs at 50, and Matt Renshaw 370 at 46 but there have not been many runs elsewhere, and with the ball Craig Overton has 26 scalps at 16 and Peter Siddle 20 at 18 but again, after the big two, there has not been too much to shout about. Furthermore, Jack Brooks has gone on loan to Sussex, while Jack Leach and Renshaw are away on international duty.
England’s Test match against New Zealand will mean no Ollie Pope or Ben Foakes, and the ODI squad sees Surrey shorn of Jason Roy, Sam Curran and Reece Topley, so there will be further opportunities for wicket-keeper/batsman Jamie Smith to build on his wonderful double hundred at Bristol, and a couple of others to make their mark. After sitting out the short format games, openers Rory Burns and Ryan Patel will be looking to pick up where they left off. Patel might only be sixth in Surrey’s batting averages but he is still averaging over 50, having hit 360 runs already.
Director of cricket: Andy Hurry
Head coach: Jason Kerr
Captain: Tom Abell
Overseas: Marchant de Lange, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle
Out: Eddie Byrom (Glamorgan)
Tom Abell (c)
Roelof van der Merwe
Follow the match
The match will be broadcast live on Somerset’s official YouTube channel. This commentary will also be available on the BBC Sport website.
Clips from the match will be featured across Surrey CCC social networks and highlights will be available at the end of each day’s play. There will also be a full match report posted on the Club website on every evening of play.
P W L D
Home 91 51 12 28
Away 89 30 22 37
Total 180 81 34 65
Last three matches
May (13), 14-15, (16), 2021 at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton: Surrey 206-4 (RJ Burns 55) drew with Somerset (did not bat)
July 11-14, 2021 at the Kia Oval: Somerset 429 (JC Hildreth 107, J Clark 3-75, GS Virdi 3-86) & 69 (R Ashwin 6-27, DT Moriarty 4-20) drew with Surrey 240 (RJ Burns 50, MD Stoneman 67, MJ Leach 6-43, RE van der Merwe 4-54) & 106‑4 (van der Merwe 3-60)
April 21-24, 2022 at the Kia Oval: Somerset 337 (TB Abell 150, JC Hildreth 54, RJW Topley 3-62, J Clark 3-66) & 207 (TB Abell 53, T Banton 52, J Clark 4-52, RJW Topley 3-55) lost to Surrey 308 (SM Curran 80 BT Foakes 63, PM Siddle 6-51) & 239-7 (RS Patel 102, JA Brooks 4-73) by 3 wickets.