Surrey v Essex: Mark Stoneman makes 181 not out as Surrey dominate
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Woodbridge Road (day one):|
|Surrey 353-5: Stoneman 181*, Sibley 69, S Curran 54*; Ten Doeschate 2-16|
|Essex: Yet to bat|
|Surrey 4 pts, Essex 1 pt|
Surrey opener Mark Stoneman scored a superb unbeaten 181 in just two sessions at Guildford to put his side in a strong position on a rain-hit opening day against Essex.
After the morning was washed out, Stoneman struck 24 fours and two sixes in his 221-ball innings to close in on his first-class best of 187.
Dom Sibley also made 69 in a fourth-wicket stand of 186 with Stoneman.
Surrey reached stumps on 353-5 with teenager Sam Curran 54 not out.
The hosts were wobbling on 88-3 when Kumar Sangakkara suffered a rare failure, edging Jamie Porter to Alastair Cook at first slip for just four.
But Stoneman continued to attack, bringing up his third Championship century of the summer off just 118 balls.
Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate provided a boost for the visitors after tea, removing Sibley and Ben Foakes in consecutive overs, to leave Surrey 280-5.
However Curran, who turned 19 at the start of this month, smashed 10 fours in his ninth first-class half-century to make sure the hosts ended the day in command.
Surrey's Dominic Sibley told BBC Radio London:
"Some of Mark Stoneman's strokeplay was brilliant. He played some gorgeous shots all around the wicket. Hopefully he can kick on tomorrow and get a big score.
"It was nice to be out there when he reached his hundred. We put together a great partnership. It's a shame I couldn't cash in and get a hundred myself.
"I've got some decent scores this season and feel I'm in good nick so it's a bit frustrating, but hopefully I have helped put us in a good position."
Essex coach Chris Silverwood told BBC Radio Essex:
"We stuck at it. That was the pleasing thing. We tried our hearts out right up until the last ball of the day. But credit where credit's due. Mark Stoneman played very well.
"The ball did enough early on to justify bowling first. We found the edge a few times. But, whatever we threw at him, he responded and it was a very good innings.
"Matt Quinn had a bit of a back spasm and had to come off so we will have to be a bit careful with him and monitor him in the morning."