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Rory Burns will lead his men out on home turf for the first time this year on Thursday as his Surrey side take on early LV= County Championship pacesetters Hampshire.

With the forecast set fair over the Easter weekend, this has all the makings of a really good contest – two seasoned sides, packed to the gunwhales with top-class batters and game-changing bowlers. Not to mention two of the best keeper-batters in the business.

Surrey will have been pleased enough with their start up at Edgbaston against last season’s champions Warwickshire. Strong and aggressive starts with bat and ball saw the visitors get into positions to try and force the issue but in the end the placid nature of the pitch won out, the game petering out into a high-scoring draw. But all the batters looked in good order, only Hashim Amla and Jamie Smith missing out but there is no doubt that that pair will come good sooner rather than later.

Hampshire, meanwhile, put in a dominant performance against Somerset, winning by an innings and 113 runs and taking 23 points, the only first division side to register a first-round victory. Their impressive and versatile seam attack of Mohammad Abbas, Keith Barker, Kyle Abbott, James Fuller and Ian Holland all took wickets, with Fuller especially impressive in a rapid second-innings burst that knocked the stuffing out of the Cidermen’s top order.

With the bat, any team with Nick Gubbins at No.3 and skipper James Vince at No.4 will be dangerous but it was openers Joe Weatherley and Ian Holland who set the game up, putting on 180 for the first wicket. Hampshire’s squad has been bolstered this year by the arrival of former Sussex skipper Ben Brown, who averages 45.43 in first-class cricket since 2015 and has scored more Championship runs in that time that everyone except Daryl Mitchell, Billy Godleman, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke. Not bad for a wicketkeeper!

It’s all to play for at The Kia Oval, with Surrey adding leg-spinning all-rounder to the 12 that travelled to Birmingham last week.

HAMPSHIRE

Director of cricket: Giles White
First-team manager: Adi Birrell
Captain: James Vince
Overseas: Mohammad Abbas, Kyle Abbott
Ins: Nick Gubbins (Middlesex), Ben Brown (Sussex), Ross Whiteley (Worcestershire, white-ball contract)
Outs: Sam Northeast (Glamorgan), Ajeet Dale (Gloucestershire), Tom Scriven (Leicestershire), Brad Taylor, Ryan Stevenson (both retired), Tom Alsop (Sussex, loan), Lewis McManus (Northants, loan)

MATCHDAY SQUAD

James Vince (c)
Mohammad Abbas
Kyle Abbott
Ben Brown (wk)
Keith Barker
Mason Crane
Liam Dawson
James Fuller
Nick Gubbins
Ian Holland
Felix Organ
Joe Weatherley
Brad Wheal

Follow the match

The match will be broadcast live on kiaoval.com and the Club’s official YouTube channel with commentary from BBC London’s Mark Church, former Hampshire all-rounder Kevan James and recently retired Essex batter Varun Chopra. 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.

Head-to-heads

                        P              W            L           D          Ab

Home              95            46           9          40            2

Away              95            43           21        31            0

Total               190          89           30        71            2

 

Last three matches

September 10-12, 2019 at the Ageas Bowl: Hampshire 149 (R Clarke 5-21, J Clark 3-50) & 436 (FS Organ 54, SA Northeast 73, JM Vince 91, LA Dawson 88, LD McManus 61, M Morkel 3-75, GS Virdi 3-110) beat Surrey 162 (OJD Pope 68, KJ Abbott 3-31, KHD Barker 4-38) & 151 (Organ 5-25) by 272 runs

August 15-18, 2020 at Arundel Castle Cricket Club Ground, Arundel: Surrey 172 (LJ Evans 65, IG Holland 6-60) & 74 (MS Crane 3-19, JK Fuller 4-17) lost to Hampshire 298 (TP Alsop 87, SA Northeast 81, MP Dunn 3-53, GS Virdi 6-101) by an innings & 52 runs

April 29-30, May 1, 2021 at the Kia Oval: Hampshire 92 (KAJ Roach 2-40, J Clark 6-21) & 179 (LD McManus 51, Roach 8-40) lost to Surrey 560-7 dec (RJ Burns 80, HM Amla 215 rh, OJD Pope 131, JL Smith 78, SW Currie 4-109) by an innings & 289 runs