Ben Foakes has added captaincy to the list of things he does rather well.

Having established himself as England’s best – although not necessarily first-choice – gloveman during five Tests last winter, his batting skills were highlighted by hitting a century on his Test debut in Sri Lanka.

In Surrey’s misfiring line-up, Foakes has stood out with four half-centuries in their six matches so far and against Yorkshire at last week’s Guildford Festival he took charge in the absence of injured skipper Rory Burns.

That was no straightforward task, coming on the back of a 102-run trouncing at the hands of this year’s County Championship frontrunners Somerset, but Foakes showed an easy authority despite not having captained a side since the age of 11.

Had rain not removed more than half the playing time, Surrey might have got off the mark at the sixth time of asking following a faltering start to the defence of their title which saw three draws followed by two defeats.

But for Woodbridge Road’s porous outfield and outstanding work by the groundstaff, who had to cope with a month’s worth of rain falling on the scheduled first day plus more later, the Yorkshire match might never have got started. As it was, the ground was miraculously ready for a prompt start on the second.

Mark Stoneman’s return to form at the top of the order saw him hit 61 but the highlight was a fifth wicket stand of 118 between Foakes – stroking his way to 62 – and Jamie Smith on his Championship debut, the 18-year-old’s 56 underlining his rich promise.

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If Surrey’s 313 all out was disappointing when they had threatened 400, it was put into perspective when Yorkshire were rushed out for 148 on the final morning and forced to follow-on, Morne Morkel (4-43) and Rikki Clarke (3-35) having their efforts augmented by two wickets from Jordan Clark and Foakes taking a brace of fine catches outstanding even by his exacting standards.

There was only enough time for the visitors to reach 30-0 when they went in again.

Foakes commented: “I thought we batted very well in the conditions to get to 313 in our first innings against a good Yorkshire attack and Jamie Smith’s 56 on championship debut also underlined what everyone at the club already knows, which is that he is a big talent.”

And he added: “Keeping and captaincy is certainly a bit different. It was a very good experience and I enjoyed it.”

If 11 points was as much as Surrey could have probably asked with so many delays, they saw Somerset force a win over Kent which puts them 61 points ahead, both sides having played six matches with another eight to come.

Having this week off was welcomed by Foakes, a home date with Warwickshire at the Kia Oval starting on Sunday before the return against Yorkshire at Scarborough seven days later.

All-rounder Sam Curran returned after nearly a month out with a hamstring strain for his club side Weybridge last weekend.