Cottey is just 5ft 4in, but there is a lot of talent packed into his powerful frame and it was on show for all to see from shortly before lunch, by which time Glamorgan, who had won the toss, appeared to have the advantage of a fine start.
Their captain, Hugh Morris, and his opening partner, Steve James, had set off with indecent haste on a wicket whose greenish hue had belied its rich seam of runs, and 60 of them were on the board inside 10 overs. There was a then double hiccup before Matthew Maynard arrived to help Morris to his half-century.
It was the left-hander's departure which brought Cottey to the crease, and he indicated the shape of things to come by getting off the mark with a delicate cut to the boundary. After lunch he feasted, cutting, carving and driving fluently. Not even a missed chance when he was on 10 - a difficult one to Alistair Brown in the gully - could disconcert him.
He had shared in a stand of 87 for the fourth wicket, when the leg spinner, Nadeem Shahid, had Maynard lbw sweeping on 63. If Surrey thought that was the beginning of the end, Robert Croft quickly disabused them of the notion, with an assured supporting role as he contributed 41 to a partnership of 132.
Surrey had to suffer more than four hours of Cottey - who by the end must have seemed 5ft 4in wide - before finally winkling him out. Adam Hollioake's yorker hit him on the foot for an lbw decision when he had reached 125, his highest score of the season, which included 20 boundaries.
Hamesh Anthony and Darren Thomas carted the exhausted attack around for an entertaining 62. Surrey faces were as long as the shadows, and when Thomas reached a 48-ball maiden first-class fifty, they appeared as resigned as their most famous supporter, John Major.Reuse content