Surrey 490 for 5 (Pope 176*, Borthwick 100, Finch 90, Stoneman 63) lead Hampshire 367 by 123 runs
A nudge to the England selectors from Ollie Pope, who made a high-class 176 not out, a Scott Borthwick hundred and 90 from Aaron Finch put Surrey in the ascendancy on day three of their Specsavers County Championship Division One clash with Hampshire at the Kia Oval. The day ended with the hosts leading by 123 with five first innings wickets still in hand, and their 490 for 5 has turned the match on its head.
Pope, in his first Championship appearance following shoulder surgery in late April, has batted for 350 minutes and faced 292 balls. It was the 21-year-old's highest score in the County Championship, to add to the career-best 251 he made against the MCC in the Champion County Match in Dubai in March. With a day to go, Pope's 188-run partnership in 46 overs with Finch was instrumental in swinging the game in Surrey's favour.
Resuming on 109 for 2, Mark Stoneman and Borthwick progressed their third wicket partnership to 93 before Stoneman became Fidel Edwards' 450th first-class wicket - caught at gully for 63.
Borthwick brought up a 99-ball half-century with two consecutive fours off Liam Dawson - the first through midwicket and the second nudged past slip - while Pope, who announced himself by drilling Edwards through backward point for four, rotated the strike with admirable ease en route to a 106-ball fifty.
Prior to the final hour, the only sweep shot of note came when Aneurin Donald, in at short leg, was forced to leave the field after being struck on the helmet by Borthwick.
Borthwick's first Championship hundred since April 2017 came off 186 balls with 11 fours but, just moments later, the former Durham man was brilliantly caught for exactly 100 low down at leg slip by Sam Northeast to make it 265 for 4.
Finch set out his stall by driving Edwards first through cover and then straight down the ground for successive boundaries before both he and Pope opted for risk-free accumulation. Pope moved to his seventh first-class hundred, which came off 162 balls, immediately after tea and then a compelling contest between Dawson and Finch ensued - the slow left-armer giving the Australian limited-overs captain nothing he could hit through the off-side.
Finch did cut Kyle Abbott for four to post a 70-ball fifty, which he celebrated two overs later by lifting Ian Holland back over his head for the first six of the match.
Pope struck just three fours in moving from 100 to his 150, which came off 260 balls with 13 boundaries, while Finch eventually departed for 90, punching Ryan Stevenson to Felix Organ at short-midwicket ten overs from the close. Pope was joined by Ben Foakes and they have so far added an unbroken 37 for the sixth wicket.