De Bruyn hits ton as Surrey prosper
Surrey 324 for 5 (de Bruyn 105*, Burns 73, Jewell 57*) v Lancashire
Zander de Bruyn's first hundred of the season and polished half-centuries from youngsters Rory Burns and Tom Jewell ensured Surrey made a commanding start to the final County Championship match of 2012 against relegated Lancashire.
Following two days of rain at Liverpool, a fixture with nothing but pride on offer saw both sides finally get under way at the start of day three. Surrey closed on 324 for 5 from 99 overs of their first innings, with de Bruyn unbeaten on 105 off 229 balls with Jewell 57 not out. Burns had earlier scored 73.
Relegated Lancashire handed first-class debuts to scholarship fast bowler Tom Bailey, 21, and England Under-19 wicketkeeper Alex Davies. Steven Croft was also named captain for the first time in the Championship in place of the rested Glen Chapple. He celebrated by winning the toss.
Allrounder Jewell, 21, and fast bowler Matt Dunn were given their first Championship outings of the season for Surrey. On the day when Rory Hamilton-Brown was linked with a move away from Surrey, the county demonstrated they still have plenty of young batting talent coming through their ranks as opener Burns looked calm and collected during his 139-ball stay at the crease, which included six fours.
Bowled offering no shot to Chapple for a golden duck in the reverse fixture at Guildford, Burns prospered against some swing and seam movement to post his fourth Championship fifty of the summer off 79 balls as Surrey reached lunch at 109 for two.
But the 22-year-old left-hander missed out on his second ton of the summer when he was caught behind by Davies off Tom Smith during the visitors' most difficult spell of the day in the afternoon.
Having reached 160 for 2 as Burns shared in partnerships of 50, 51 and 59, they lost three wickets for the addition of only 18 runs in 40 balls. Luke Procter bowled Jason Roy and had out-of-form Steven Davies caught behind in the space of three balls in the 57th over as the score slipped to 178 for 5.
However, de Bruyn, who previous season's best of 94 came against Lancashire in the reverse fixture in July, and Jewell steadied the ship with the fourth stand of 50 or more in the innings. De Bruyn hit left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan for two straight sixes at the start of the afternoon and evening sessions on the way to a 152-ball fifty and a 221-ball ton.
He and Jewell, who reached 50 off 115 balls and faced 126 in all, shared an unbroken 146 inside 43 overs for the sixth wicket. With both sides' fate already secured, there is the opportunity to set up a final day run chase for Lancashire with a couple of innings forfeits.