Surrey 537-5 Lancashire 241-6: Surrey scent win to warm Ramprakash

As he buried his frozen hands deep in his trouser pockets here yesterday, jumping about at gully as his finger ends throbbed from the ball he had just stopped, Mark Ramprakash may momentarily have wondered if he was right in the head to turn down the chance to play in the 90-degree heat of India this weekend.

He could have been in Delhi this afternoon, making his debut for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, having been offered a two-week stint standing in for Graeme Smith, who has a clashing Twenty20 commitment in South Africa. Instead, he did what he considered to be the honourable thing and stayed with Surrey.

Just as well he still had the warm glow of his 98th career first-class century, along with several layers of clothing, to insulate him against the icy wind. That and the knowledge that, with his help and some benevolent weather today, Surrey can open their season with a win.

Lancashire have not been able to match Surrey's proficiency with the bat, although, in their defence, they have had the worst of conditions.

Under an overcast sky there was more happening for the bowlers, helping Jimmy Ormond, Pedro Collins and Chris Jordan to convince the more sceptical Surrey supporters that they might have a half-decent pace attack after all.

Ormond maintained a testing line outside off stump and kept his discipline even after Paul Horton had hit a couple of juicy cover drives and Mark Butcher, forgivably, had put down Gary Keedy, the nightwatchman, at first slip on 18. Finding some extra bounce, he drew a tickled edge from Horton for Jon Batty to take the catch.

Jordan had Keedy yorked before Chris Schofield, fielding as substitute, ran out Mal Loye, answering Brad Hodge's call for a quick single, with a brilliant throw running in from cover. Suddenly, Lancashire were 117-4.

Hodge and Stuart Law regrouped impressively, adding 92 in 27 overs for the fifth wicket, but then Law, driving too early at a ball from Collins, the former West Indies Test bowler, fell to a fine catch by Ramprakash at mid-off.

Law's demise ushered in Andrew Flintoff, who had proved himself in good order with the ball and now wanted to offer evidence of his well-being with the bat. Three fours off the reel against Jordan – one streaky but two from authentic strokes – looked encouraging but after 23 runs in 22 deliveries he was undone by a doosra from Saqlain Mushtaq, the off spinner.

Bad light and then rain cut the day by 40 overs with Lancashire still 147 short of avoiding the follow-on.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links