The Hampshire first innings ended more abruptly than even Surrey had intended. After their strike bowlers Chris Jordan and Pedro Collins had each taken a wicket everyone was surprised when Tom Burrows walked off the square with James Tomlinson - the ninth batsman to be dismissed.
The scattering of spectators had been expecting to see last man Chris Tremlett striding out, with Hampshire still 51 behind on the first innings, but then came an announcement that the last man could not bat.
Tremlett was apparently suffering from a back spasm, which also prevented him from taking the field and spearheading the Hampshire attack.
By then Hampshire had added 23 runs to their overnight 204-7, the stand between Burrows, who finished unbeaten on 13, and Greg Lamb realising 43 useful runs.
Tremlett’s enforced absence meant left-armer James Tomlinson took the first over, with captain Dimitri Mascarenhas standing in for Tremlett as the other new ball bowler.
Tomlinson certainly stepped up to the plate. He was clipped to the mid-wicket boundary by Scott Newman in his opening over, but his fifth ball bounced a little and left the Surrey opener putting a thick edge to Chris Benham at third slip.
So for the second time in the match Mark Ramprakash emerged in the first over of the Surrey innings in search of his hundredth first class hundred.
The gloomy conditions were proving distinctly unhelpful, but not until the seventh over did they offer the light to the batsmen, who understandably took it. By then Surrey had lost a second wicket, that of Jon Batty, who fell lbw to one that Mascarenhas pitched up.
Mark Butcher, the Surrey captain faced one ball, before the light drove them off with Surrey’s lead now 73.Reuse content