Sibley and Burns put Surrey into the lead - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Dom Sibley and Rory Burns led from the front as Surrey spent day two of their Vitality County Championship match against Somerset at The Kia Oval building a significant lead.

Openers Sibley and Burns scored 100 and 75 respectively, putting on 167 for the first wicket, as Surrey advanced from their overnight 42 without loss to 358 for six, giving them a 73-run advantage at the halfway point. They had bowled out Somerset for 285 on day one on what remains a good pitch.

The 2022 and 2023 champions will be seeking more first-innings runs yet, even though they lost Ben Foakes for 57 in the closing overs, leg-before to Lewis Gregory as he tried to flick behind square a ball that didn’t seem to bounce as high as he expected.

Cameron Steel, however, is still there on 35 not out alongside Jordan Clark, who was unbeaten on seven at stumps. Jamie Overton and Gus Atkinson, both fully-fledged all-rounders, are still to bat.

Jamie Smith also contributed an attractive 51, before falling to the second new ball when Craig Overton produced a beauty to uproot his off stump, and the only surprise of the day – as Surrey batted determinedly on in warm south London sunshine while Somerset fought to stay in the game – was that England Test regular Ollie Pope made only 11 before holing out to deep square leg, mis-pulling a short ball from Kasey Aldridge.

Sibley and Burns, on 29 and 13 overnight, added another 113 runs from 31 overs in the morning session, with Burns being dropped on the deep mid-wicket ropes by Tom Banton off seamer Migael Pretorius when he had reached 56.

Somerset would have felt deflated at that missed chance but, to their credit, they then took three wickets in the afternoon with England’s rookie off-spinner Shoaib Bashir doing much to hold the line with a long and accurate spell from the Vauxhall End that began when he was brought on for the 34th over almost an hour before lunch.

It was Bashir, in his ninth over, who removed Burns to an edged cut to keeper James Rew and, after Pope had also departed, the introduction of Lewis Goldsworthy’s left-arm spin had an almost immediate reward when, to his third ball, Sibley inside-edged an attempted on-drive into his boot and back on to the stumps.

Sibley had only just completed his 20th first-class hundred, and had batted in all for 215 balls across four hours, hitting 17 fours.

Surrey were 263 for three at tea, with the second new ball due straight afterwards, and after Overton had ended an eye-catching Smith innings that included two legside sixes and seven fours – the majority of which were purely-struck drives straight or through extra cover – Somerset were given further hope of finding a way back into the contest when Dan Lawrence, across his stumps, was pinned leg-before by Aldridge.

But Foakes, joined by Steel in a hard-working sixth wicket stand of 48 that confirmed Surrey’s position of authority, completed another worthy half-century of great value to his team while Steel added to his growing reputation as an all-rounder who provides further balance to an already formidable outfit.