Gloucestershire v Surrey, Cheltenham, 2nd day July 28, 2011

Ramprakash gives Surrey the edge

Surrey 392 for 8 v Gloucestershire 286
Scorecard

Mark Ramprakash hit the 114th first class century of his prolific career to ensure Surrey's first-innings lead in the County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham. By the close of the second day the visitors had made 392 for 8 in reply to 286, with Ramprakash contributing 141.

The former England batsman batted for more than five hours in sizzling heat, facing 232 balls and hitting 15 fours, for his first ton of the season. Ramprakash received good support from Zander de Bruyn (60) in a third-wicket stand of 87 and Yasir Arafat, who followed up his five wickets in the Gloucestershire innings with an unbeaten 54 - sharing a partnership of 126 for the eighth wicket.

Surrey began the day on 13 without loss and progressed to 52 before Rory Hamilton-Brown played on to Jon Lewis attempting to drive. With five runs added the key moment in the day arrived as wicketkeeper Richard Coughtrie dropped Ramprakash, on 4, diving to his right, off David Payne. It was to prove a hugely expensive miss.

By lunch Surrey had moved to 103 for 2 and in the afternoon session de Bruyn prospered, reaching his fifty off 72 balls, with nine fours. With the total on 152, the South African drove Hamish Marshall to backward point where Kane Williamson took the catch.

It was 183 for 4 when Tom Maynard, on 19, pulled a catch to Payne at fine leg. All the while, 41-year-old Ramprakash was accumulating without the slightest risk, reaching his half-century off 128 balls, with six fours.

Jason Roy lofted offspinner Jack Taylor over midwicket for six to move to 33 off just 24 deliveries, but the next ball saw him bowled as Taylor pitched a fuller length. When Zafar Ansari fell leg before wicket to Will Gidman for one the score was 243 for 6 and Gloucestershire could still harbour hopes of first innings lead.

But Ramprakash was unbeaten on 65 at tea and, although Gareth Batty was caught behind off Marshall for 5, Arafat came in to play positively and help put Surrey well on top. Ramprakash reached his hundred with a cut for four off Ian Saxelby, having faced 183 balls and hit 12 fours. It was not his most exhilarating innings, but an example in concentration and application.

Arafat reached a breezy half-century off 68 balls, having hit a six over long-on and six fours. Ramprakash finally fell near the close to a gully catch by Chris Dent off Saxelby, leaving the pitch to a standing ovation.

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