Honours go to Surrey after opening day Pope century against Hampshire

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Ollie Pope continued his impressive start to the new season by hitting a superb 113 not out against the visitors highly rated pace attack, with Surrey earning the opening day honours.

On a glorious day in South London, Hampshire won the toss and put Surrey in to bat on a pitch that looked to have something in it early on for the bowlers. Hampshire’s excellent four man seam attack comprising of Mohammad Abbas, James Fuller, Kyle Abbott and Keith Barker, looked a quartet who could well prosper on this surface.

The visitors opened up with Barker and Abbas, and four slips positioned.  The first delivery from Barker amounted to a no ball with the first boundary of the morning coming off the blade of Ryan Patel with a flick down to third man.

The openers of Rory Burns and Patel managed to sere of the new ball attack of Barker and Abbas before Hampshire skipper James Vince turned to Ian Holland. With just his fourth ball, Burns(21) drove loosely and was snapped up at third slip by Liam Dawson.

Despite the ball moving around a bit, Patel and Hashim Amla took the score to 83 for 1  at lunch with Patel on 39 and Amla 15, with his first two scoring shots a delicate flick down to the deep square leg boundary and a gentle dab down to third man before surviving two very big shouts for lbw.

After lunch Patel brought up his half century off 99 balls by hammering his eighth boundary into the cover boundary fence. However, he was soon to depart after attempting his tenth boundary, he tried to clear the third man rope hooking, but the ball went straight down third man’s throat off James Fuller’s sixth ball for a well-made 58.

Ollie Pope joined Amla out in the middle with the pair looking comfortable at the crease. Amla moved on to yet another half-century for Surrey- albeit one of his quietest ones having faced 116 balls- and received perfect support from Pope who completed a fine half century off 73 balls including seven fours and one six to take the score at tea to 212-2 with Amla 67 not out and Pope 55, with the pair sharing in an unbroken stand of 93 for the third wicket.

The duo took the stand to 114 when Amla slashed at a short wide ball from Ian Holland and was caught behind for 73 made off 114 deliveries, which spanned almost four hours.

Ben Foakes arrived at the crease to help Pope put on a further unbroken stand of 79, before stumps with the honours going to Surrey on the opening day of the match.

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