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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Saturday, 2 August 2008 16:15 UK

Ramprakash secures historic ton

County Championship D1, Headingley, Day four: Yorkshire 414-9 drew with Surrey 204 & 264-3

Mark Ramprakash (right) is congratulated by former England team-mate Darren Gough after reaching 100 first-class centuries
Ramprakash (right) is hugged by Darren Gough after his century

Mark Ramprakash became the 25th player to score 100 first-class centuries with his ton on the final day of Surrey's drawn Championship match at Yorkshire.

Ramprakash ended his wait for a milestone he has been chasing since his last hundred at the end of May.

He said: "When I started out I never dreamed about making that many hundreds but I'll certainly take it now."

The 38-year-old has scored more than 30,000 runs in a career which saw him make his first-class debut in 1987.

He went on: "I feel honoured to join such a high calibre of names who have also achieved the feat. It's definitely something I'll cherish for the rest of my days.

"I'd like to dedicate this to my mum, dad, sister, wife and daughters. Without their love and support I could not have achieved this milestone."

The ex-England batsman scored more than 2,000 runs for Surrey at an average of more than 100 in both 2006 and 2007.

Such form led to calls for him to return to the England side for the winter tours of 2007-08, but there was no invitation to do so from the selectors.

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A look back at Ramprakash's 100 centuries

Ramprakash played first for Middlesex, making a Test debut in 1991, and moved across the Thames to Surrey in 2001, a year before playing the last of 52 Tests.

The last player to hit 100 centuries was Graeme Hick in 1998, like Ramprakash a terrifically talented batsman who never quite did justice to his talents in the international arena.

Ramprakash's century on Saturday was his third of the current season and took him 231 minutes and 196 balls. It included nine fours and a six.

Ramprakash, who finished on 112 not out, and Scott Newman clocked up a stand of 259 before the match was called off soon after Yorkshire's David Wainwright had bowled Newman for 129.

It was the second time Headingley had witnessed a batsman scoring his 100th hundred. In 1977 Yorkshireman Geoff Boycott reached the landmark in a famous Test against Australia.

red devil

On this occasion, another famous son of Yorkshire, Darren Gough, was among the first to shake Ramprakash's hand - and he was applauded by all the Yorkshire side.

He was cheered by his ecstatic team-mates on the dressing room balcony and given a standing ovation by the 1,100 spectators who were present.

It was a chanceless exhibition of orthodox batting by Ramprakash, who had arrived at the crease in the second over of the day after Yorkshire had declared overnight with a first innings lead of 210.

Headingley is a very special place for me because I made my maiden century on the ground and I also played in my first Test match here

Mark Ramprakash

He said afterwards: "Hundreds don't grow on trees the first two games or so after my 99 at Hove I felt really edgy because everyone is talking about you and the pressure builds but after that it was business as usual.

"The Twenty20 Cup competition made it difficult to get into any sort of form but I was still excited to get to 99 centuries and it was certainly not a monkey on my back.

"Even if I had not managed my 100th century I would still have been able to retire a happy man."

Ramprakash had desperately tried to find the right piece of willow to get him to three figures, revealing: "After my century at Hove I broke the bat I had been using for two years and I have used five bats since - and have not played all that well until today."

He added: "Headingley is a very special place for me because I made my maiden century on the ground and I also played in my first Test match here when we walked out of the old pavilion.

"I remember that Mike Gatting used to take us out for a fish and chip supper in Headingley on the first night of a Test match and I have many happy memories of Leeds.

"And I clearly remember my first class debut for Middlesex against Yorkshire at Lord's in 1987 when I received my first ball from Arnie Sidebottom.

"I have always found Yorkshire a very fair and hard side to play against and they play their cricket in the right way."

see also
The last centurion?
02 Aug 08 |  Counties
Ramprakash career gallery
02 Aug 08 |  Counties
Ramprakash sets new batting mark
21 Sep 07 |  Counties
Ramprakash passes runs milestone
30 Aug 07 |  Counties
Last-wicket pair boost Yorkshire
01 Aug 08 |  Counties
Rain thwarts Yorkshire progress
31 Jul 08 |  Counties
Tykes edge ahead against Surrey
30 Jul 08 |  Counties

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