Three innings victories in succession for the first time in 60 years have sent Surrey flying to the top of the Specsavers County Championship.

Their crushing of Somerset at the Guildford Festival last week was the latest in a series of emphatic displays, making it four wins out of six for new skipper Rory Burns and his men.

It sent them off to face Yorkshire at Scarborough this week with a lead of 13 points and there is genuine belief among the side that they can land the Division One title, last claimed in 2002 - also their most recent triumph at Woodbridge Road - while acknowledging they have an awfully long way to go yet.

That was underlined by a tricky first two days at Scarborough, Yorkshire recovering from 166-6 - led by Jonathan Tattersall’s valiant 70 - to reach 342 all out and then reducing the visitors to 219-7 at the end of the second day.

Further problems came for Surrey, who had to cope withdrawals a sea fret which made batting tricky, came when the umpires imposed a five run penalty for two disciplinary offences.

Having arrived at Guildford ahead by one point, Somerset barely got a look-in after using their right to inset the hosts. Perhaps gulled by a green-tinged pitch, they were also unlucky in failing to find the edge on a number of occasions initially and found themselves under pressure after conceding 459.

Much of that was down to Ollie Pope building on early contributions from Burns (66), Arun Harinath (48) and Scott Borthwick (84) to crack 117.

It was the 20-year-old’s fourth first-class century in only his 12th game, taking the initiative away from Somerset’s bowlers in typically enterprising style. Pope was one of four players in the home side who had made his way with the help of Guildford’s colts programme, the others being Rikki Clarke - whose early three-wicket burst hampered the reply - Jade Dernbach and debutant Will Jacks.

Even more remarkable, though, was the impact of Pope’s fellow 20-year-old Ryan Patel. Handed the ball by Burns with the reply at 169-4, in the 56th over, the medium-pacer produced an incredible burst of six wickets for five runs in 23 balls.

The first five came in 11 deliveries of utter mayhem and within 30 minutes Somerset had been dismissed for 180 and sent back in, 279 behind.

Patel handed much credit to bowling coach Geoff Arnold, for telling him to keep it simple, and there was no great mystery to his success - he bowled straight and on a full length which enabled him to find late movement, a recipe which sent his opponents into meltdown.

His observation that “it’s all a bit surreal” summed up the situation perfectly.

Following on, the visitors were all but sunk by the time they reached 69-5 within an hour on the third and final day.

Only James Hildreth”s stylish and unbeaten 89 displayed the resolution required by against an aggressive attack in which Morne Morkel - who has given Surrey a spearhead they have been sorely lacking for several years - and Dernbach each claimed four wickets.

It was little more than Dernbach deserved given he had three catches dropped off him in the first innings, wrapping up the innings for 210 to afford victory by an innings and 69 runs.

“We’re very pleased, especially to get a win at Guildford - it’s been a while since that happened,” said Burns.

He warned this week’s encounter with Yorkshire would be “really competitive” and it has turned out to be a major test of his unbeaten team’s credentials. The best sides often find a way to win, however unpromising the situation.

The tempo changes now for Surrey - and everyone else - with the start of the Vitality T20 Blast next week A disappointing white ball campaign so far, which saw them fail to make the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup, puts all the more importance on success in the shortest format.

Dernbach takes charge for the T20, his side’s first game against Middlesex at Lord’s next Thursday and followed immediately by taking on Kent at the Kia Oval 24 hours later.

His task has been made tougher by Australian pair Aaron Finch and Nic Maddison missing the first two games through international duties while Jason Roy and Sam Curran are engaged with England and Tom Curran - whose bowling at the death was the key on several occasions last year - is out of action through a side strain.

Action before that at The Oval sees the final of the three-way series between the A teams of England, India and West Indies on Monday.

Morne Morkel excelled with the ball as Surrey bounced back to take control of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Yorkshire at Scarborough.

The former South Africa fast bowler finished with five for 39 from 16 overs as Yorkshire were bowled out for 152 in their second innings, setting the visitors a victory target of 228.

And they made a strong start before close on day three on Wednesday by reaching 89 without loss.

Captain Rory Burns confidently led the way with 55 not out and Mark Stoneman was unbeaten on 32, his highest score of 2018.