Surrey 398 for 3 (Stoneman 131, Sangakkara 85*, Burns 75, Foakes 64*) v Yorkshire
Mark Stoneman batted with the assurance of a man who knows he should be Ashes-bound this winter to score a dominant 131 from 171 balls as Surrey cruised to 398 for 3 on day one of their Specsavers County Championship match against Yorkshire at the Kia Oval.
There were also significant runs in the south London sun for Rory Burns, who made 75, and Kumar Sangakkara, who marked his return from the Caribbean Premier League by reaching a sublime 85 not out from 113 balls late in the day and adding an unbroken 143 in 35 overs with Ben Foakes, who is unbeaten on 64 from 104 balls.
Sangakkara has now scored 1171 championship runs this summer, at an average of 117.10, and the Sri Lankan is joined in the top three of Division One run-makers by Stoneman (959 at 63.93) and Burns (922 at 54.23).
Wicketkeeper-batsman Foakes, whose strokeplay lost nothing in comparison even with Sangakkara's in the final session, cruised past 550 championship runs for the summer.
Stoneman, back with his county after quietly impressing for England against the West Indies in his maiden Test series, in which he averaged 30 in three matches, included 22 fours in a very fine innings. There were 11 fours in his first fifty, which arrived after just 58 balls, and he was joined by an almost equally fluent Burns in an opening stand eventually worth 178 in 41 overs.
Burns, who reached his fifty just before lunch, was adjudged caught at the wicket off Jack Brooks in the 41st over, aiming towards mid wicket to a ball which pitched in line with his pads - a decision he did not seem overly pleased with after striking 12 fours from 124 balls.
Stoneman finally fell in the 57th over, edging a slash at a short ball from Tim Bresnan to slip. It was the 20th hundred of his first-class career and his fourth of this season.
"The lads have been making sure I've kept my feet on the ground but it's been great to get back and listen to all the banter," he said. "Playing in those Tests was an unbelievable experience. It's what I've dreamed of doing all my career and it's what you play the game for. As for this winter's tour, I've just got to try to score as many runs as I can for Surrey in these closing weeks of the season and hopefully things will go my way when selection [for the Ashes] comes around."
Yorkshire's attack, already missing England one-day trio Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid and David Willey, was made to look toothless by the two left-handed openers after Surrey won a toss and chose to bat on a good-looking pitch and in warm sunshine. Even when they removed Burns, the 19-year-old Ryan Patel arrived to join Stoneman in a further stand of 55 for the second wicket.
Then, after Stoneman fell, Yorkshire were faced with the sight of Sangakkara - with a championship average for the summer of 108.6 coming into this game - marching to the wicket with the scoreboard reading 233 for 2.
Shortly before tea, Patel edged a drive at Ryan Sidebottom to be caught behind for 27, but that proved to be Yorkshire's last success of a difficult day in which off spinner Azeem Rafiq also hobbled off with a leg injury after bowling 20 fruitless overs at a cost of 74 runs. Rafiq, who did come back on just before the close but still looked in discomfort, made the odd ball turn quite sharply, too, which will not have improved Yorkshire's mood as they glance anxiously over their shoulder at the Division One relegation zone close behind them.
There was a suggestion that Foakes had survived a sharp chance to slip off Rafiq early in his innings, shortly after tea, and Sangakkara looked to have given Steven Patterson a tough caught and bowled on 47 that was not taken. Otherwise, however, the third wicket pair were in complete command throughout the day's last session.
Sixteen overs with the second new ball could not dislodge Sangakkara and Foakes either, with Foakes racing to his half-century with four successive fours off Brooks, and Surrey finished the opening day within touching distance of a full five batting bonus points while Yorkshire have just one bowling point so far.
On the second day Surrey will be looking to post a mammoth total, which would heap even more pressure on a Yorkshire team also without opener Adam Lyth, who yesterday celebrated the birth of his first child.