GARETH BATTY paid tribute to Surrey as they maintained the pace at the top of the LV County Championship.

Victory by an innings and five runs over Northamptonshire mean they have won all three home games at the Kia Oval this season – augmented by two high-scoring draws on the road – to lead Division One by eight points.

Skipper Rory Burns found the ideal moment to discover his hitherto elusive form in making 107, which proved the backbone of Surrey’s 401 all out after being sent in.

Then his attack took charge to dismiss the visitors twice, for 194 and 202, to complete the match with a day to spare.

“We have been very good all round in this game,” beamed interim head coach Batty, “starting with totalling 401 after being put in on the first morning.

“The captain led from the front, as he always does.”

And he added: “It’s a very long season but we have started very well and we’ve also managed to give rests to a couple of our quicker bowlers, to try to keep them fresh.

“We’ve dealt well with other players getting injuries or not being available.

“I’m very pleased with where we are after five rounds.”