Surrey overcome obstructive Ramps
Surrey clinched a nerve-tingling two-wicket LV= County Championship victory over Gloucestershire despite Mark Ramprakash being given out for obstructing the field at Cheltenham.
The veteran batsman was on 35 when he was judged to have impeded Ian Saxelby as the Gloucestershire player went to gather Kane Williamson’s throw at the bowler’s end as Jason Roy went for a risky second run.
Surrey were cruising at 137 for four, chasing 184 to win, at the time. When Zafar Ansari fell lbw to Jon Lewis for a duck two balls later it was 138 for six with 46 still required.
However, after Roy, who made 45, and Gareth Batty had also fallen, Yasir Arafat and Tim Linley saw the visitors home to end a superb match. Surrey took 24 points to Gloucestershire's five.
The hosts had begun the day on 249 for four in their second innings, with a lead of 112. They soon lost Alex Gidman, caught in the slips by Zander de Bruyn having added just nine to his overnight score of 57.
Wickets fell steadily as Arafat sent back Richard Coughtrie and Will Gidman for a return of 2-76 and match figures of 7-162.
Linley also finished with seven victims in the game for a total of 136 runs as he accounted for Jack Taylor and Gloucestershire were bowled out for 320 shortly after lunch.
That made Surrey favourites and they achieved a solid start in the face of their modest target as Rory Hamilton-Brown and Steve Davies put on 50 before the latter was caught behind fending at Will Gidman for 19.
It was 60 for two when Hamilton-Brown was taken at first slip by Alex Gidman off Lewis for 39 and 80 for three when off-spinner Taylor struck in his first over, having De Bruyn pouched by Hamish Marshall at slip - a sharp catch - for 11.
Tom Maynard fell lbw to David Payne for two, the ball striking his pad before the bat, and at 85 for four the match was in the balance.
But Ramprakash was a reassuring presence for Surrey after his first-innings century and he looked in little trouble until his controversial dismissal threatened to change the game.
The 41-year-old started to walk off and then returned for a further conversation with umpires George Sharp and Nigel Llong before finally making his way to the pavilion.
After Ansari’s departure, Batty was well taken at first slip above his head by Alex Gidman off brother Will with Surrey still 23 short.
Only three had been added when Roy edged Lewis to wicketkeeper Coughtrie, having hit six fours in his 64-ball stay at the crease.
Despite several scares, Arafat and Linley survived with the latter hitting the winning runs.