Beware Ramps

Over Easter I was chatting with a couple of members of my family about the prospects for the County Championship Division Two season (my Dad follows Derbyshire, you see). We didn't come to many firm conclusions but I do remember suggesting that Surrey would win it and 'Ramprakash will make millions of runs'.

That was obviously an exaggeration, but I knew that Mark Ramprakash would lay waste to the division's bowlers. And he has. The latest instalment was a career-best 301 not out against Northants at The Oval, an innings which, to me, had a remarkable inevitability about it. He was dismissed on 292 against Gloucestershire early in the season, but I was virtually certain, after he ended the first day on 174, that he'd make 300 this time.

It must be difficult at times, being Mark Ramprakash. To know that for much of the nineties you were one of the best batsmen in the whole world, but that you never managed to prove yourself properly at the highest level of the game, so you've been left to pile up runs against bowlers barely fit to lace your boots. But the runs still have to be made, and, whenever you hear him interviewed, he seems to have reconciled himself with the vicissitudes of his past.

And he's not alone, either in terms of past experiences or the quality of his batting. Down in Southampton John Crawley also continues to pile up runs like there's no tomorrow.

It must be difficult at times, being a county bowler.


Salil said...

The Div 2 bowlers have had it rough.

Not just because of Ramps, but there's one Aussie bloke I'm *very* on, by the name of Phil Jaques. He's been piling on the runs with incredible consistency (taking a short break for the A-series in Australia recently), and given his career at the moment, I'll be quite shocked if he doesn't get a chance in the Ashes squad.

As for Surrey in Div 2, I think the addition of Kumble might be a big difference maker. He already took 8/100 and bagged 11 in the last match he played, allowing Surrey to win on what was apparently a very flat wicket. As the season goes on and the tracks get drier and more spin friendly over the summer, expect him to be a major matchwinner.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Salil, I totally agree about Phil Jaques. I saw him make 202 in a day at Worcester (v Northants) in June and he looks a very good player indeed. A certain Australian opener once Hayden/Langer retire, and possibly before.

Anonymous said...

It's a batsman's game. *mumbles something about uncovered wickets*

Brian Carpenter said...

Can't disagree with that. And it doesn't get much more of a batsmen's game than at The Oval in a summer like this!

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