Surrey’s title credentials will come under the spotlight next week – in more ways than one.

Rory Burns’s side take a 34 point lead into their day/night clash with Lancashire at the Kia Oval, starting on Sunday, as they bid to claim the Specsavers County Championship for the first time since 2002.

Six wins from eight Division One outings, the last five victories coming in succession, have made Surrey hot favourites but they still have six games remaining in a hectic schedule which runs into late September.

That includes clashes with Nottinghamshire (home), defending champions Essex (both home and away), Worcestershire (away) and Somerset (away).

The most immediate challenge though comes from Lancashire, who forced Surrey to follow on when the sides met at Old Trafford earlier in the season before the match ended in a draw.

The Red Rose county are just one point above the relegation zone and will be missing skipper Liam Livingstone because of a hand injury.

Between Vitality T20 Blast outings this week, Surrey’s bowlers have been honing their skills with the pink Kookaburra ball used for day-night matches and this will be The Oval’s maiden floodlit Championship match.

Having been so potent with the Dukes ball used for day games, they will face the challenge to make it swing, which has seemed beyond their rivals so far given all the other day-night games in Division One so far this season have ended in draws.

They must also plug the gap left by England selecting Ollie Pope, who scored 28 on his Test debut against India at Lord’s last weekend and looks set to retain his place for the match at Trent Bridge.

His 684 runs have included three centuries, only skipper Rory Burns (875 at 72) proving more prolific. Surrey would appear to have an ideal replacement in Jason Roy, the England one-day opener who rarely gets a four-day outing these days but still retains the ambition to play Test cricket.

His five Championship appearances last season brought 257 runs at 42. Other options include left-handers Arun Harinath and Ryan Patel.

Surrey could yet be able to add Sam Curran to their squad for the Lancashire match should England leave out the 20-year-old all-rounder to create space for the return of Ben Stokes, following his acquittal on a charge of affray this week. The Trent Bridge Test starts a day earlier.

Definitely available is Australian batsman Aaron Finch, who has returned to the UK after being given compassionate leave following a family bereavement.

He was badly missed last weekend as Surrey took just one point from three outings in the Vitality Blast, that coming from Thursday’s abandoned match against Sussex at The Oval which saw the visitors charge to 159-2 in 13 overs.

The game had been shortened to 15 overs each by rain but it returned to wash out proceedings.

At Taunton 24 hours later, Will Jacks cracked 53 – including six sixes – but Surrey’s 176-9 was not enough to beat Somerset, who had Peter Trego (70) and Corey Anderson (53) to thank for guiding them home by four wickets with five balls to spare.

Moving on to Bristol on Sunday, Morne Morkel (3-34) and Rikki Clarke (2-27) were chiefly responsible for containing Gloucestershire to 174-6 but 59 from Ben Foakes could not prevent the visitors going down by five runs.

It left Surrey needing to beat both Hampshire at The Oval on Wednesday and Glamorgan at Cardiff on Friday – plus a string of other results going their way – to have a chance of sneaking into the quarter-finals.