Davies responds to Foakes signing
Surrey 403 for 8 (Davies 147*, Solanki 93) v Leicestershire
Steven Davies scored his second Championship century of the season and Vikram Solanki hit 93 as promotion-seeking Surrey took control of their Division Two game against bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Put into bat on a green-looking pitch, Surrey recovered from a shaky start to post an imposing total of 403 for 8 when bad light ended play half an hour early. Davies was still there unbeaten on 147 off 168 balls having struck 22 fours off the toiling Leicestershire attack. It was a timely innings for Davies following the news that Surrey have signed Ben Foakes from Essex to add to their stockpile of wicketkeeper-batsman options
It was a boundary-laden day with a total of one six and 61 fours helping Surrey race to maximum batting points. Yet it had looked a good toss to win with conditions seemingly favouring the bowlers. And in the fourth over of the morning Nathan Buck produced the perfect delivery that swung away, found the edge of Zafar Ansari's bat and flew to Rob Taylor at third slip.
However, Leicestershire were initially unable to build on that as, despite the helpful conditions, the bowlers struggled with their lengths and a succession of half-volleys were sent flashing to the boundary by Solanki and Rory Burns, who shared a stand of 40 in six overs.
That stand was brought to an end with the score on 51 when Burns carved a catch to backward point off Charlie Shreck and when Tillakaratne Dilshan was lbw to Taylor for 8, leaving Surrey at 72 for 3, Leicestershire looked back in the game.
Not for the first time this season however, they failed to press home the advantage and Solanki and Davies joined forces in a fourth-wicket partnership of 135 in 26 overs. Solanki, who was fortunate to survive a confident lbw shout from Taylor when he had made 30, reached his half-century off 48 balls with nine fours, and with Davies also in attack mode the century stand was posted in 21 overs, 68 of the runs coming in boundaries.
Davies went to his 50 off 62 balls with 10 fours - four of them in one over off Buck - but he was dropped by Greg Smith at gully off Taylor on 61 as Leicestershire's disappointing day in the field continued. Then, out of the blue, Solanki had his stumps shattered by Taylor as he went for an expansive drive seven runs short of his century. He had faced 113 balls and hit 16 fours.
The in-form Jason Roy struck a quickfire 42 in a stand of 75 in 11 overs with Davies before dragging a ball from Ollie Freckingham back into his stumps. Gary Wilson was out for a duck but the 50th boundary of the day was struck by Gareth Batty off Buck before Davies completed his century off 114 balls with 16 fours.
Batty edged behind for 19 and Chris Tremlett hit a towering six in his knock of 22 before bad light brought a premature end to a day dominated by Surrey.