Scott Newman scored a timely hundred to help keep a sinking Surrey ship afloat against fourth-placed Durham at Woodbridge Road today.
He reached three figures in style, sweeping New Zealand off-spinner Paul Wiseman for his first 6 which went out of the ground, which had the umpires calling for a replacement ball.
Newman needed 151 balls to get to the mark, hitting 14 boundaries in the process. It was the 12th hundred of his first class career, but Surrey were still not that well placed, the opener having lost four partners on the way.
As a measure of his domination of the Surrey run-getting when Stewart Walters became the first wicket, lbw to Ben Harmison, younger brother of Steve, he had scored eight of opening stand of 68, with Newman already on 42.
In fact the first three Surrey wickets were the product of a Bros concert for the travelling Durham fans, because Steve then waded into the top order accounting for Chris Murtagh and stand-in captain Jon Batty.
Ramprakash will be sorely missed by Surrey on this showing, where the pitch looks flat and the outfield is fast.
Steve Harmison looked particularly sharp and had arrived here at Woodbridge Road with 34 Championship wickets to his name.
But Surrey had suffered a series of blows even before a ball had been bowled, Mark Ramprakash dropped out because of a stomach bug, which interrupted his pursuit of his hundredth hundred, while West Indies pace bowler Pedro Collins (sidestrain), former Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq (finger injury) and Aussie seamer Matt Nicholson, whose places were taken by off-spinner Murtaza Hussain, seamer James Ormond and leg spinner Chris Schofield.