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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Ramprakash ton frustrates Lancs
County Championship D1, The Brit Oval, day one (close): Surrey 374-6 v Lancashire

Lancashire's hopes of landing the County Championship title were held up by Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash's 96th first-class century.

Leaders Lancashire need a win to secure the title but missed a run-out chance to get rid of Ramprakash, who went on to make 180 not out off 190 balls.

Surrey had decided to bat in cloudy conditions but that decision was justified as they reached 374-6.

Play was ended by bad light to further frustrate the visitors.

Lancashire's mood will not have been helped with their rivals Durham and Sussex dominating in their matches, making victory even more crucial.

The visitors showed some signs of nerves at the start of the day, with Stuart Law dropping Jonathan Batty off the bowling of Sajid Mahmood.

But the wicket-keeper survived only until Mahmood's next over and still had not scored when he gave Law a second chance, gratefully accepted chest high to his left.

Ramprakash might easily have gone without scoring too after attempting a jittery single after jamming a Mahmood yorker out into the off side.

The bowler picked up in his follow through and back-handed his throw close to the stumps, where short-leg fielder Paul Horton failed to gather - with Ramprakash retreating but still short of his ground.

Ramprakash went on to make 50-plus stands with Scott Newman, Stewart Walters, James Benning - whose half-century from just 25 balls contained seven fours and two sixes - and finally Chris Jordan.


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