Openers Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Shaun Marsh eased the pressure on Yorkshire with a superb stand of 162 inside 47 overs to begin their reply to Surrey’s 592 during day two at the Kia Oval.
Surrey, chasing only a second Specsavers County Championship win of the season following nine draws in eleven matches, made a commanding start to that bid thanks to first-innings centurions Mark Stoneman, Kumar Sangakkara and Ben Foakes.
Stoneman hit 131 during yesterday’s opening day before fourth-wicket pair Sangakkara and Foakes converted overnight scores of 85 and 64 in to 164 and 110 respectively.
They completed a stand of 258 inside 55 overs before Jack Brooks limited the damage with four morning wickets to complete his first five-wicket haul of the campaign.
But Kohler-Cadmore and Marsh gave the hosts a taste of their own medicine with 78 and 77 not out.
Steve Patterson claimed the last three Surrey wickets to fall in the afternoon, leaving Yorkshire with 52 overs of batting to do through to close. They reached 171-1 from 51, with bad light ending play an over early.
Kohler-Cadmore and Marsh both played confidently in excellent batting conditions and hardly looked in any trouble.
Brooks finished with figures of 5-113 from 28 overs and Patterson 3-120 from 30.2.
Brooks struck twice in two balls in the 117th over, getting Sangakkara caught at long-leg and Ollie Pope caught at second slip for a golden duck to leave the score at 513-5.
Kohler-Cadmore took a particularly smart catch diving to his left to get rid of Pope.
Brooks then bowled Sam Curran as the score fell to 531-6 in the 123rd over. Sandwiched in between, Foakes reached his ton off 166 balls.
Nine runs later, Brooks had Foakes caught behind for 110 – 540-7.
Sangakkara’s 127-ball ton was his seventh in 12 Championship innings this season and third in three innings in all competitions against Yorkshire.
He has now posted tons against Yorkshire in 2017 facing the white, pink and red ball.
After lunch, Patterson trapped Freddie van den Bergh and Stuart Meaker lbw with successive deliveries before getting Rikki Clarke caught at mid-wicket by a diving Tim Bresnan for 41.
Yorkshire only claimed one bowling bonus point to Surrey’s five, and it was the joint eighth highest total they have conceded in first-class cricket.
But there was better news to follow in the form of Kohler-Cadmore’s and Marsh’s alliance.
This was the first time since early 2012 that an Yorkshire opening partnership in Championship cricket has been without either Alex Lees or Adam Lyth.
Rain through the tea interval delayed the start of the evening session, but no overs were lost.
Kohler-Cadmore’s fifty came off 92 balls in the same over as the century partnership with Marsh was confirmed – the 26th.
Marsh, who returns to Western Australia duties after this game, later reached his fifty off 86 balls as the score moved to 120-0 in the 36th before Kohler-Cadmore fiercely pulled van den Bergh’s left-arm spinners for six over mid-wicket at the start of the next over.
Kohler-Cadmore fell when he sliced a drive at van den Bergh to backward point, hitting eleven fours and that six in 162 balls.
Marsh hit 13 fours in his unbeaten 133-ball stay at the crease. Lees will return to the crease with him in the morning on seven.
He said: “It’s been a good day for us. Sangakkara and Foakes played really well, but I thought we bowled well this morning. Brooksy getting a five-for, we came off with a bit of momentum having slowed them down nicely.
“Obviously myself and Shaun had a really good partnership at the end to put us in a good place.
“Cricket’s a funny game. We’ve all seen enough games of cricket to know anything can happen from here. But if we play well, we can hopefully put the pressure back on them and make them have a tricky period at the end of day four.
“We’ve got to work very hard tomorrow and make sure we save the game. Then we can look forward.
“It was nice to spend some time in the middle, but it was frustrating to get out. It would have been nice to be not out overnight and be able to walk out in the morning.
“Shaun is just calm and relaxed. It’s very easy when he’s there. It’s nice to watch him play some shots. A cover drive he hit early doors would be up there with the shot of the game.
“This is the first time I’ve opened in first-class cricket.”