Sangakkara sparkles as Surrey dominate

Kumar Sangakkara produced a batting masterclass at the Kia Oval as he made 171 to help Surrey dominate the first day of their Specsavers County Championship Division One fixture against Somerset.

It was the 38-year-old Sri Lankan’s 56th first-class hundred and his highest Championship score, helping his side pile up 394 for five from 87 overs before play was abandoned for the day because of bad light.

Sangakkara went on the offensive as soon as he came in during the 10th over after Arun Harinath had fallen lbw to Craig Overton’s fourth ball after switching ends for nine, beaten by one which shaped back into him.

For the next three hours that was as good as it got for Somerset. Overton, who was making his first appearance of the summer, bowled aggressively at times but a flat pitch offered little margin for error and Sangakkara was soon throwing his hands through the ball with a series of powerful drives and pulls.

He had a reprieve on nine, when he was put down by Peter Trego at slip off Overton, but sped to a 52-ball half-century with the second of four sixes, having passed 1,000 first-class runs for Surrey in only his 22nd innings when he reached 15. 

There was no hiding place for a toothless Somerset attack and Sangakkara found the perfect foil in Rory Burns, with the pair putting on 187 in 40 overs as they motored along at almost five an over either side of lunch.

Sangakkara reached his century with another six over long-on, this time off Roelof van der Merwe, and Burns, who passed 4,000 first-class runs when he reached 26, looked on course for a hundred of his own until he was well held by van der Merwe off a mis-timed on-drive for 80, made off 179 balls with 10 fours and a six.

Sangakkara finally fell when he was caught at deep cover by Overton, running to his left, off Tim Groenewald, having faced 175 balls and hit 24 boundaries and four sixes.

But any sense of relief Somerset may have felt on a bitterly cold day was short-lived as England limited-overs opener Jason Roy took up the attack.

A gloriously-timed on-drive off Tom Abell took him to fifty off 52 balls and after a short stoppage for bad light he attacked the new ball before he played across a straight one from Lewis Gregory for 85 from 88 balls, with 11 fours.

Source: ECB

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