Burns and Sibley dominate in relegation tussle

Surrey 332 for 4 (Burns 122, Sibley 99) vs Hampshire

Rory Burns, the Surrey opening batsman, struck his first century of the season as the visitors made light work on a flat track at the Ageas Bowl.

Burns, who became the 2,000th Surrey player to reach three figures in first-class cricket, looked at ease during his 144 ball stay before knocking his 17th boundary to take him to three figures.

Hampshire, who toiled for nearly two thirds of the day, finally had something to cheer about in the evening as they pegged the away side back somewhat with a handful of wickets.

The early stages of this match was always going to rely heavily on who won the toss, with the track looking impeccably hard and flat. Gareth Batty, just as predictably, refused the offer of bowling first before winning the coin flip - the skipper has yet to lose a toss this season.

Burns, with the equally unimpeachable Dominic Sibley, saw off the first session with ease - the pair already up to 72 in the opening hour, Hampshire already being forced to use all four seamers.

Burns quickly moved past 4,500 runs for his first-class career, before reaching his 25th format fifty at an almost run a ball 54 deliveries. He continued to cash in after lunch to climb to three figure, playing the aggressor to Sibley's watchful style, in 144 balls.

Sibley, who passed his half century in almost same amount of time it took Burns to reach a ton, 141 balls, was waiting patiently for the poor ball to come along.

The partnership appeared impenetrable with seemingly every option exhausted - before Mason Crane produced a corker to see off Burns 10 balls before tea.

The young leg spinner pitching one outside off stump and back of a length to the left hander to turn back to cramp Burns up for space - edging low to Sean Ervine at first slip.

Crane continued his troubling turners to get Zafar Ansari before he had got going - tempting the al-rounder down the track before Lewis McManus smartly swivelled and stumped.

Soon after the new ball was taken, which was the first thing to cause Sibley a sweat in his heavy cable knit jumper.

Reaching 99, the only other time he has a Championship century was on his debut when he bagged a record 242, he was bowled by a Gareth Berg delivery which moved back off the seam to crunch into the off stump.

Berg, who finished the day the pick of the bowlers with two for 47, then had a short and tempered battle with Jason Roy - the bowler, after missing the outside edge twice and having an lbw shout turned down, finally got his man leg before.

Quietly, as the wickets tumbled around him, Australian international Aaron Finch teed off in entertaining fashion - pilfering a quick 50 before the close to stand overnight on 56, his team on top at 332 for 4.