de Bruyn ton gives Surrey control
Kent 26 for 2 v Surrey 387
Zander de Bruyn's brilliant 179 helped Surrey post a first-innings total of 387 on the first day of their County Championship clash with Kent at The Oval.
Kent were 26 for 2 in reply at stumps, having lost Joe Denly (13) to a catch at first slip and Robbie Joseph (one), their nightwatchman, leg before. De Bruyn racked up 25 boundaries in his 200-ball innings and shared a seventh-wicket stand of 135 in 29 overs with Gareth Batty, to ensure that Surrey made the most of some indifferent bowling after winning the toss and opting to make first use.
Wahab Riaz, David Balcombe and Ashley Shaw all struck in their respective first overs for Kent, but were unable to prevent the hosts progressing to 145 for 3 by lunch. Jason Roy got off the mark immediately with a fortuitous boundary that sailed over the heads of the slips, but the 20-year-old perished three balls later when he repeated the stroke and was caught behind the wicket off Riaz.
Balcombe, on a month's loan from Hampshire, came on in the eighth over and produced a perfect outswinging delivery to account for Mark Ramprakash with his third ball. Rory Hamilton-Brown (34) and De Bruyn then settled into an entertaining partnership, which ended when the Surrey captain was defeated by an inswinging yorker.
De Bruyn brought the hundred up for Surrey with the first of three successive fours behind square on the off-side off Joseph, and two overs later the South African posted a 60-ball half-century.
Shortly after lunch, Steven Davies (17) was caught behind off Riaz, who nearly struck again when De Bruyn, on 81, was dropped at second slip with the score on 184. The South African made the most of the reprieve by raising his second hundred of the season, which came from 113 balls and included 17 fours.
But Surrey then lost two wickets in the space of four overs when Tom Maynard top-edged a pull off Balcombe and Zafar Ansari, making his championship debut, was caught at slip via a pad. Resuming after tea on 289 for 6, De Bruyn's alliance with Batty went from strength to strength. Batty slog swept Denly for six after De Bruyn's 150 had come up off 166 balls.
Batty went to his fourth championship half-century in 84 deliveries with a cut for four off Riaz. Moments later, De Bruyn brought up the hundred stand with a crisply struck straight drive off Joseph. But with a new ball due, Surrey lost their last four wickets in five overs as Denly picked up a career best three for 71 with his leg-spin.
Batty went for 65 when Martin van Jaarsveld held on to a sharp return catch and, six balls later, De Bruyn skied Denly to cover. Stuart Meaker, sweeping, fell leg before and Chris Tremlett was caught on the straight boundary looking to launch Van Jaarsveld into the pavilion for a second time.