Ramprakash and Thorpe lead the Surrey revival

Surrey 488-8 v Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire had a mixed day, beginning with them being shown their dressing-rooms (three portable buildings), their shower facilities (similar) and their toilets ­ more of the same but with doors that did not seem to shut.

They then stepped from this temporary accommodation into near-permanent misery as Surrey, led by Mark Ramprakash, piled up the runs and the batting bonus points in a long, hot day.

Not until late on did Nottinghamshire have anything to smile about, with a late flurry of wickets, but by then Ramprakash was within sight of a double hundred and Surrey were a lot nearer 500 than their opponents would have liked.

Surrey's inaugural first-class match on this pleasant ground was marked by an impressive 241-run stand for the third wicket between Ramprakash and Graham Thorpe. The pair came together after the Championship leaders had been reduced to 41 for 2 inside 10 overs, Jonathan Batty and Ian Ward having fallen victim to the British passport-holding South African pace bowler Greg Smith.

So Ramprakash and Thorpe, former members of the "brat pack" that used to include Nasser Hussain, joined forces and proceeded to take Surrey into a far healthier position.

Which was more than could be said of Ramprakash, who had to play through the pain barrier after being hit on the his left knee by the Nottinghamshire stand-in captain, Chris Cairns, in mid-morning.

That pain was soon forgotten, though, as the runs came on a hard, bouncy pitch. There was one chance, when Ramprakash came close to being run out on 98 after Thorpe had sent him back. The moment passed and there was no other opportunity.

Ramprakash moved smoothly through the afternoon to the 66th hundred of his first-class career, his sixth of the summer and his first against Nottinghamshire since 1991.

But Thorpe, who had only passed a fitness test on his back in the morning, was not so circumspect. On 99 the left-hander, who is maintaining the sort of form that has resurrected England interest in him, injudiciously chased a wide ball from Cairns and departed, with the stand just 26 runs short of Surrey's all-time record for the third wicket against Nottinghamshire. But Ramprakash batted on, and on.

Comments