Loye hundred punishes Surrey
Northamptonshire 330 for 5 v Surrey
Mal Loye made his first century since returning to Northamptonshire as the hosts' batsmen put them in charge on the first day of their County Championship Division Two encounter against Surrey at Wantage Road.
Loye made his ton off 203 balls on his way to a magnificent 121 not out, as he and former captain Nicky Boje made 161 between them, with Boje making an unbeaten 77 and opener Stephen Peters also claiming a half-century.
Surrey had threatened a revival after lunch in reducing Northants to 169 for 5, with Championship debutant Tom Jewell taking the scalp of their skipper Andrew Hall. But Loye's century was the cornerstone as the hosts reached the close on 330 for 5.
Surrey won the toss but chose to bowl in glorious conditions as they looked for their first Championship win in 17 matches. Northants wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien was given an early let-off when he was dropped by his Surrey counterpart Steven Davies off Andre Nel in only the third over.
The Ireland international went on to make an explosive 44 off 54 balls before Tim Linley forced him to edge to Davies, who this time made no mistake, to end an opening stand of 90 with Peters.
Peters went on to reach his fifty off 86 balls with a four smashed through cover off Jade Dernbach as Northants went into lunch on 115 for 1. Linley struck again in the fifth over after the restart when Peters (61) went cheaply by launching him straight to Chris Schofield at extra cover.
David Sales went for a duck when he was well and truly bowled by Nel, with all three of his stumps toppled. Northants were starting to look less assured at the crease and they lost their fourth wicket when Rob White (8) nudged to Davies.
Hall made just five before he gave 19-year-old Jewell, playing in just his fourth first-class game, his first wicket by slashing wildly at his short delivery to give Davies an easy catch. Loye then reached his fifty off 114 balls, including a six smashed over square leg off Linley.
Boje, who resigned as skipper last week, became the third batsman to go past 50 after tea, doing so off 87 balls after being dropped on 29 by Schofield at mid-on.
His and Loye's partnership put Northants back on top as Surrey's bowlers began to toil in the sun as they had done in the morning, with Loye making his century with a four through square leg off Dernbach. The sixth-wicket pairing then comfortably batted out the rest of the day without alarm.