Ramprakash in sparkling form again

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The Independent Online
Mark Ramprakash, overlooked for the fifth Ashes Test, made 190, leading his Middlesex side from the front yesterday in their Championship match with Hampshire at Lord's. He shared in a fourth-wicket partnership of 185 in 51 overs with Owais Shah as Middlesex amassed 442 for 8 before Ramprakash declared. Hampshire were 69 for 2 at stumps.

Ramprakash, 99 not out overnight, needed only two deliveries to complete his century. It came off 199 balls, included 18 fours and was his fifth of the season, his fourth in the Championship and second in successive innings.

Tom Moody, Worcestershire's captain, must have feared he would come to regret his decision to bat on after lunch against Northamptonshire, but an excellent catch above his head by Gavin Haynes to dismiss Alan Fordham eight overs from the close and the quick demise of the nightwatchman Scott Boswell provided an unexpected late twist in his side's favour at Northampton.

The home side ended on 208 for 3, still 194 runs shy of avoiding the follow-on. Having conceded a 500-plus score for the second home game in succession, Northamptonshire appeared in no imminent danger when Russell Warren and Fordham were making comfortable progress after David Roberts was dismissed for 40. Then Fordham and Boswell fell.

Earlier Phil Weston, who began the day on 196 not out, laboured for 40 further deliveries to reach his first double century. He was out mis-timing a pull off Kevin Curran.