Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns set up dominant day for Surrey
Surrey's top four all reached half-centuries on a Taunton pitch far-removed from the spin-friendly surfaces seen recently
Surrey 368 for 4 (Stoneman 85, Burns 78, Elgar 72*, Roy 63) v Somerset
Mark Stoneman led another impressive Surrey batting display as the newly crowned title-winners ran up 368 for 4 on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton. It was the visitors' day from the moment Rory Burns won the toss and elected to take first use of a pitch that had no suggestion of the 'excessive turn', which had led to Somerset's previous home game against Lancashire ending inside two days. Few balls beat the bat all day as Stoneman top-scored with 85, supported by solid contributions from Burns, Jason Roy, Dean Elgar, and Ollie Pope. Jamie Overton was the most successful Somerset bowler with 2 for 76.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who had claimed 12 victims bowling from the River End in the Lancashire match, sent down all but one of his 19 overs from the Somerset Pavilion End, finishing the day wicketless, having conceded 79 runs.
It was a return to the old days of batsmen-friendly Taunton wickets and Surrey's top order had the ability and confidence to fill their boots.
Stoneman and Burns batted through the morning session with few alarms and had taken the total to 147 in the 37th over when Stoneman, whose half-century had occupied 85 balls, failed to keep down a rising delivery from Jamie Overton and was well caught above his head by Craig Overton at backward point.
Burns, who had cruised to fifty of 87 balls, followed with the total on 206, bowled aiming a loose drive at Tim Groenewald, back in the Somerset side after a long injury lay-off, having been preferred to offspinner Dom Bess.
Roy, making his first red ball appearance of the season, moved smoothly to the third half-century of the innings off 75 deliveries, with a six and six fours. But in the final over before tea he fell lbw to Jamie Overton and at the interval Surrey were 263 for 3.
Elgar, facing his old team-mates, looked untroubled as he too reached the 50-mark off 74 balls, with eight fours, and Pope looked equally in control as they added 82 in the final session.
Pope was visibly frustrated when surrendering his wicket in tame fashion, clipping Josh Davey to Jamie Overton at midwicket shortly after the new ball had been taken.
Somerset, fresh from the disappointment of being losing semi-finalists at Vitality Blast Finals Day and still needing points to be sure of finishing runners-up to Surrey, stuck to their task well in the field, but were powerless to prevent the champions running up a commanding total on the fast-scoring ground.
Burns' innings took his tally of runs in the Championship this season to 1319 at an average of 69.42. He looked totally unflurried in further enhancing his England prospects.
During the lunch interval home captain Tom Abell was presented with his Somerset cap by the county's former batsman and director of cricket Brian Rose.