Gareth Batty finished with career-best figures of 8-68 as Surrey bowled Essex out for 228 on day one of their LV= County Championship clash at Chelmsford.
The visitors' excellent fielding performance was dimmed somewhat by a shaky batting display that saw them close on 55-3.
That did nothing to diminish the display of Batty, who ripped into the Essex line-up and exposed his opponents' ongoing struggles against spin.
Tom Westley (95) and Ben Foakes (55) played well for Essex but found support hard to come by as Batty proved unstoppable with the ball.
Elsewhere in Division Two, Joe Lynch recorded his first five-wicket haul in the as Worcestershire bowled Kent out for 258 on day one at Tunbridge Wells.
The 23-year-old took 5-36 from his 12.4 overs, making significant contributions at either end of Kent's disappointing innings.
Having removed Daniel Bell-Drummond (9) and Robert Key (9) early in the morning, reducing the hosts to 24-2, he returned in the final hour of the day to polish off the tail with the help of the second new ball.
Kent, having elected to bat, showed glimpses of promises through a third-wicket stand of 93 between Sam Northeast (53) and Brendan Nash (41) and when Ben Harmison (47) and Sam Billings (24) put on 65 for the sixth wicket.
But they failed to press home the advantage on a day which included two stoppages in play for light reflecting off car windscreens and a skylight in a house adjoining the Nevill Ground.
Glamorgan had much the better of day one of their clash with Leicestershire, dismissing their visitors for just 109 and then reaching 56-1 at the SWALEC Stadium.
No Leicestershire player managed double figures until No 6 Niall O'Brien, whose 17 turned out to be their joint highest score of the innings alongside Anthony Ireland.
Tom Helm saw off two of the visitors' top three, finishing with figures of 2-9 from six overs, with Jim Allenby (3-20), Will Owen (3-42) and Michael Hogan (2-30) doing the rest of the work.
County debutant Tom Lancefield (19) was dismissed during Glamorgan’s reply but the hosts will start day two in a healthy position on 56-1, with Jacques Rudolph unbeaten on 26.
Will Gidman and Benny Howell took two wickets each as Gloucestershire enjoyed the better of a rain-affected first day against Derbyshire.
Play did not start until after lunch but visitors Gloucestershire made the most of the 71 overs that were available as they reduced Derbyshire to 166-6 at stumps.
Most of Derbyshire's batsmen made starts but none managed to really push on, with opener Paul Borrington top-scoring with 42 and captain Wayne Madsen contributing 33 before both fell with the score on 78. Scott Elstone will resume day two unbeaten on 36.