Finch sparkles on debut to power Surrey innings

Warwickshire 12 for 0 trail Surrey 273 (Finch 110, Burns 45, Patel 5-62) by 261 runs

Aaron Finch marked his Surrey debut by hitting his first ball for six and going on to complete a brilliant 90-ball hundred on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Warwickshire at Guildford.

The powerful 29-year-old Australian slog-swept former New Zealand offspinner Jeetan Patel over midwicket and out of the compact Woodbridge Road ground, and later drove legspinner Josh Poysden high over long off for another six as he led Surrey's progress to 273 all out.

Patel got Finch in the end, smartly held at slip by Rikki Clarke, but by then he had also struck 16 fours and reached 110 from 98 balls. Strangely, one of Finch's previous four first-class hundreds was another innings of 110 against Warwickshire, for Yorkshire at Edgbaston in 2014.

Finch will play all formats in a five-week stint as overseas player at Surrey while Kumar Sangakkara takes part in the Caribbean Premier League, and he has certainly made a big initial impression in front of an appreciative and good-sized crowd.

One straight driven four off Boyd Rankin was a high-class stroke which belied Finch's reputation as a limited-overs specialist who is in just his 55th first-class match but has almost six times that number of List A and T20 appearances worldwide.

Finch came in at No 4, when Rory Burns fell for a solid 45 to the second ball after lunch. Pushing out at Patel, left-hander Burns was lbw after including seven fours in a fine 95-ball effort. Patel finished with figures of 5 for 62 after helping to polish off the Surrey tail.

Keith Barker, the left-arm seamer, had struck an early blow for Warwickshire by having Arun Harinath caught at the wicket by a tumbling Tim Ambrose for 15, leaving Surrey 35 for 1 after they had won the toss and chosen to bat.

But Burns was then joined by Zafar Ansari in a second-wicket stand of 44 before a short rain shower forced the players off at 12.45pm. An early lunch was taken at 12.50pm.

Ansari, 11 not out at lunch, had, like Burns, not added to his interval score when Barker pinned him lbw with a fine delivery which pitched on middle and leg and straightened to peg Surrey back at 95 for 3.

There was no play between 2.20pm and 4pm, following a heavy downpour and mopping-up operations which carried on into the tea interval, but Finch was soon into his stride again as he cover drove and back cut Barker for fours to get a 42-over final session under way in style.

Steven Davies nicked Clarke to Ambrose on 13 and Sam Curran departed for 15 when Rankin, bowling with pace, made one lift to have the teenager caught at third slip off an inside-edge on to his hip.

Ben Foakes began fluently, however, clipping Barker to the midwicket ropes before driving him through extra cover for another four. He then produced a lovely back-foot force to the boundary past cover's right hand off Rankin, a stroke suggesting he was too low in the batting order at No 7, and at 243 for 5 it seemed as if the day would be Surrey's.

Finch had dominated a sixth-wicket stand of 63 in just ten overs with Foakes, but after his dismissal the innings fell away disappointingly with Patel bowling Tom Curran for 1 and then having Gareth Batty caught at short point for 4.

Foakes, jumping to avoid Andy Umeed's direct hit, failed to ground his bat and was run out for 23 and Surrey's first innings ended when last man Mark Footitt, returning from a two-month side injury absence, was stumped off Patel for 16 soon after clubbing a big six over long on.

In six overs' batting in early evening sunshine, Warwickshire replied with 12 without loss with Varun Chopra on 7 and Umeed on 3.