Nottinghamshire 210 and 37 for 1 trail Surrey 592 (Burns 153, Clarke 111, S Curran 70) by 325 runs
For an hour or so during the morning session, Nottinghamshire seemed to have it in them to put behind them their dismal showing on the opening day and battle their way back into this match. With Stuart Broad and Luke Fletcher at last able to apply sustained pressure, Surrey lost four wickets for 62 and their dominance looked at risk for the first time.
In the end, though, it was an effort Nottinghamshire could not sustain as Surrey, with a relentlessness to match the heat of the afternoon, simply reimposed their superiority.
Rory Burns consolidated his position as the Championship's leading run-scorer with a superb 153, the rejuvenated Rikki Clarke made his first Championship hundred for six years, and with Morne Morkel and Jade Dernbach responding to Sam Curran's 10 fours and a six by inflicting further pain on a wilting Nottinghamshire attack, Surrey comfortably exceeded the largest total of the season.
Three Nottinghamshire bowlers went for 100 or more runs, the left-armer Harry Gurney conceding 119 off just 16 overs. He did claim the wicket of Ollie Pope, thus restricting the second-most prolific batsman in the Championship to only 30 runs, but his excitement as Pope carelessly flailed at a wide one to give him his 300th first-class wicket passed quickly. Collectively, the home attack did not help themselves by handing Surrey 30 runs in no-balls.
Fletcher was the worst offender in that respect, overstepping six times, although by all other measures he was Nottinghamshire's best bowler, going for only a little more than three an over when the collective went at almost six. He tested Burns time and again during that opening session to the extent that the Surrey captain not only had to draw deeply on his skill and patience but also needed a bit of luck as the ball several times almost found the edge of his bat. When Fletcher did get his reward, as Scott Borthwick nicked one, it was the most deserved wicket of the day.
Burns, 97 overnight, needed 26 deliveries to complete his hundred, at last pushing one firmly towards the vacant long-off boundary off Broad and running three. It had been the most challenging passage of his innings by far.
Broad, playing in this match to measure his fitness and sharpness ahead of the first Test against India, bowled with pace and hostility and picked up wickets in consecutive overs. Aaron Finch helpfully chipped straight to mid-on but Broad then produced a ball that was too good for Ben Foakes, taken at first slip at the second attempt by Riki Wessels.
After Pope's moment of instantly regretted rashness, Surrey were 297 for 5, their lead healthy at 77 runs but not yet grounds for thinking the match was in the bag.
Burns moved to 153 by sweeping Samit Patel for his 23rd four soon after lunch but the sense that Nottinghamshire were not quite out of it returned with the next ball, when the left-arm spinner hurried one through and the Surrey captain, taken by surprise, edged it to slip. The feeling did not last. The fall of Burns merely introduced Clarke, a man of 16 first-class hundreds, one on this ground, coming in at No. 8. He was into his stride quickly, collecting five boundaries from his first 20 balls.
He and Curran added 125 in 26 overs before the latter, whose 70 from 101 balls was a solidly accomplished effort, was leg before on the back foot to Patel. Clarke's century, his first since his unbeaten 110 against Sussex for Warwickshire in July 2012, was one of joy and adventure, completed when he pulled Jake Ball behind square for his 19th four.
For the second day running, there was a unexpected postscript as Billy Root, whose offspin has been employed in only six first-class matches so far, took three wickets for the second time, his first when Clarke's attempt at a reverse-sweep went horribly wrong.
Nottinghamshire faced 16 overs to the close. They lost Jake Libby, trapped in the crease when Morkel came up with a toe-crusher second ball, but young Will Fraine showed some bottle for the second time in the match to help skipper Steven Mullaney limit the damage. A lot more grit will be needed if this match is to need a fourth day.