Buccaneering Surrey made a dramatic bid for their first victory of the season before settling for a draw against Somerset.

Aiming for a hat-trick of Vitality County Championship titles, Rory Burns’s men had to spend much of their opening match of the season – against Lancashire at Old Trafford – watching the rain come down.

That meant they were all the keener to overcome Somerset at the Kia Oval last weekend but a chase on the final afternoon – needing 209 in 19 overs – proved beyond them despite Jamie Smith and Dan Lawrence crashing 90 from the first eight overs.

The first two rounds of the competition have proved more rewarding for batsmen than bowlers and the visitors cruised to 196 for one. But the run out of Australian opener Matt Renshaw (87), having added 178 with Tom Lammonby (100), triggered a slide of seven wickets for 20 runs. It was only down to skipper Lewis Gregory (50) and last man Shoaib Bashir (ten not out) that they reached 285 all out. Paceman Gus Atkinson (three for 57) and leg-spinner Cameron Steel (four for 50) did much of the damage.

Surrey’s ambition was to go well past that total and when openers Dom Sibley (100) and Burns (75) put on 167 they appeared to be well on target. Sibley’s century was his first since returning to the club last year with further support coming from Smith (51) and Ben Foakes (57). A long containing spell from off-spinner Bashir and Kasey Aldridge’s five for 64 contained the lead to 143.

Off-spinner Lawrence (three for 76) and Steel (five for 96) were the main dangers in the second innings but Surrey were frustrated by Gregory’s 80, adding 86 for the sixth wicket with Aldridge (42) and 89 for the seventh with Craig Overton (52 not out) as Somerset were bowled out for 351. Surrey made a bold attempt in going for the target yet once Smith (45) and Lawrence (53 not out) were separated, they lost momentum to finish 123 for five.

Surrey head to Canterbury to take on Kent from Friday.

By Richard Spiller