Surrey enjoy best of opening day
Jordan Clark’s second successive fifty was one of a handful of useful middle and lower order contributions as Lancashire recovered from 99-5 to post 287 on day one against Surrey at the Oval.
Sam Curran starred for the hosts, who are bidding for a third successive Specsavers County Championship win and have the advantage, with four wickets, while Stuart Meaker returned three in a hostile performance.
Curran, the 18-year-old left-arm quick, was instrumental in a dominant afternoon which saw Lancashire slip from 81-2 to 198-7, with him striking three times.
Clark at least managed to steady the ship from 99-5 by sharing 85 in 25 overs with debutant Rob Jones, who made 25.
Arron Lilley then hit four sixes in a brisk 38 before Simon Kerrigan and Nathan Buck made 25 and 24 not out respectively as they shared 48 for the tenth wicket.
Surrey had 15 overs to bat before close and reached 50-0.
Clark’s 56 was ended by a stunning one-handed slip catch from Kumar Sangakkara in the latter stages of the afternoon.
Only last week, the Cumbrian had hit a career best 84 in the draw against Yorkshire.
He was strong on the off-side, particular through the cover region, and he picked up two of his 10 boundaries down the ground.
The two sides played out an even morning after Steven Croft had opted to toss and then elected to bat.
Openers Luke Procter and Haseeb Hameed both fell on the way to a lunchtime score of 75-2 after 28 overs.
Procter was trapped lbw by Sam Curran and Hameed caught behind down leg off Meaker as he attempted to hook.
Meaker later got Clark, but not before Sam Curran had removed Alviro Petersen chopping onto his stumps as he attempted to leave alone.
That left Lancashire 81-3 in the 30th over, the second of the afternoon.
Liam Livingstone, promoted to three as part of a batting order reshuffle following Tom Smith’s injury enforced absence, was next to go.
He was caught behind off the other Curran brother, Tom, the first of two wickets to fall on 99 in successive overs. Croft fell in similar fashion to Sam, leaving the visitors five down in the 34th over.
Clark and Jones frustrated Surrey for the next 25 overs, with Jones making an encouraging start to his first-team career having come in at number six.
Unfortunately, it didn’t produce a score of real substance as he followed Clark back to the pavilion just before tea - the second Lancashire batsman to chop on to Sam Curran as the score fell to 198-7 in the 62nd.
Lilley ensured he ended the session on a high by uppercutting Meaker for six over third-man and driving Sam Curran over extra cover for six as the visitors secured their first batting point.
He continued his assault immediately after tea by again driving over extra for six, this time off Meaker, who he also uppercut over third-man.
Unfortunately, he lost partner Kyle Jarvis, who drove Tom Curran to mid-off as the score fell to 231-8 in the 67th over.
Lilley had moved to 38 by the time he was struck by a Meaker short ball and then, next ball, he edged another one behind as the score slipped to 239-9 in the 70th over.
Successive boundaries for Kerrigan off Meaker to mid-wicket region, one all-run, in the 72nd over took Lancashire beyond 250 for a second batting point.
But Kerrigan was caught behind off Mark Footitt in the 79th over to end the resistance.
Surrey opener Rory Burns was then dropped on 33 by Jones at second slip off Clark with the penultimate ball of the day.