Surrey 242-2 v Lancashire: Ramprakash batters Lancashire after Flintoff's early strike

For Lancashire, coming back here to this ground was cruel enough alone, so soon after the traumatic end to last season, when their endless quest for the title drew them into that heroic but ultimately futile last-day run chase.

Bad enough without finding Mark Ramprakash, their nemesis then, intent on lacing the flashbacks with an uncomfortable taste of reality. It was the relentless flow of boundaries from the maestro's bat that proved their undoing last September. Yesterday, as magnificent as ever in completing his 98th first-class century, the finest batsman in England simply carried on where he had left off.

His timing, in more than one sense, could not have been better, with Geoff Miller, England's new chairman of selectors, looking on as Andrew Flintoff's comeback from injury, encouraging though it was, was thoroughly overshadowed.

The Lancashire all-rounder, in his first competitive action since undergoing ankle surgery, for the fourth time, last October, looked in good shape, emerging unscathed from a sparing reintroduction that began with spells of five overs and then four.

Given that Ramprakash and Mark Butcher were not being troubled by much at all, as their third-wicket partnership grew to 186, he might take it as a compliment that it was nine balls into his third spell that the umpires decided the evening light was too poor. "He's come through with no ills at this stage and we're happy with the way he let the ball go," his captain, Stuart Law, said.

For good measure, Flintoff claimed a wicket, setting a leg side trap into which Scott Newman compliantly fell, caught on the hook. At the time, with Newman striking the ball well after Surrey had chosen to bat first, it looked an important wicket.

But the day belonged to Ramprakash and the echoes of last September were uncanny. Given a life then before he had scored – his first-innings 196 followed a missed run-out on nought – he escaped again yesterday, wicketkeeper Luke Sutton spilling a regulation catch.

By the end of a day limited to 68.3 overs after a wet outfield delayed the start, Ramprakash had added 16 more boundaries, completing his third hundred in a row against these opponents. Butcher, 80 not out, was almost as impressive. Lancashire are already in trouble.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee