FLYING leaders Surrey were frustrated by the weather after making history against Kent at Beckenham.

Rory Burns’s men produced a fearsome batting display to hammer 671-9 and then bowled out the strugglers for 230 only for rain to wipe out much of the final day with Kent 114-1 following on.

Downpours elsewhere, though, limited the advances of the chasing pack and left Surrey leading LV County Championship Division One by 20 points, although they have played one more match than eight of the other nine sides in the competition.

But they can go into a month-long break from the Championship in good heart, entertaining a Sri Lanka Development side at Guildford over four days from Friday before preparing for the launch of the Vitality T20 Blast competition on Friday, May 27 at the Kia Oval.

Their slice of history at Beckenham was definitely one for the statistically-minded given it was the highest score in the history of first-class cricket without anyone reaching a century and equalled the record of seven players making at least 50 without kicking on to three-figures. Perhaps not surprisingly, it failed to prompt celebratory pitch invasions or runs on champagne supplies.

Nonetheless, the feat underlined the depth of Surrey’s batting this season and highlighted the struggles of Kent’s bowlers given they have conceded 500 or more in every game so far.

Having chosen to bat first on what always promised to be a cracking batting surface, Burns departed for 30 and saw out-of-form Hashim Amla make just 12. But opener Ryan Patel maintained his excellent campaign by hitting a lively 76, Ollie Pope returning from a sickness bug to fall just four runs short of what would have been a record-ruining century while both Ben Foakes (91) and nightwatchman Jamie Overton (93) were similarly disappointed.

Adding to Kent’s dismay, more agony was poured on by Sam Curran (78), New Zealander Colin de Grandhomme – hitting 66 in the third and final outing of his short stay – Will Jacks (20), Jordan Clark (54) and last man Dan Worrall (44no). No wonder the home side’s bowlers looked exhausted when they traipsed off after 173 overs, South African left-arm spinner George Linde labouring longest as he delivered 48 overs in taking 2-165.

Surrey had gone into the match having won all three matches at the Kia Oval but found their own attack ineffective in trips to Edgbaston and Bristol.

This time Worrall’s two early breakthroughs provided fertile ground for Jacks, whose off-spin is highly-rated by head coach Gareth Batty while providing greater batting depth than specialists Amar Virdi and Dan Moriarty, his hard-hitting having already been rewarded by England.

The 23-year-old repaid that faith in claiming a career-best 4-65 from 30 overs, impressing with his control over a sustained period, while speedster Overton extracted more life than anyone from the dormant surface to boost his growing reputation by claiming 3-33, including top-scorer Ollie Robinson for 71. Given he has scored half-centuries in successive matches, Overton can truly claim all-round status.

That enabled Burns to enforce follow-on late on day three, Kent giving themselves hope of a draw as Ben Compton hit 63no before the weather closed in.

Surrey are expected to offer several of their younger players first-class experience in the match at Guildford, play beginning at 11am each day.