Cool head of Ramprakash guides Lions' young batting ace to his maiden first-class ton
JASON Roy was guided to his maiden first-class hundred by a man who knows a thing or two about scoring centuries for Surrey.
The exciting 20-year-old brightened up last week's rain-affected draw with Glamorgan by blasting his first Championship ton in just 89 deliveries.
However, Roy revealed afterwards that it was not as simple as he made it look. After racing to the brink of three figures in no time, the enormity of the landmark began to take effect.
Fortunately for the hugely promising former Whitgift School pupil he had the perfect partner to help him overcome the nerves.
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"Mark Ramprakash came out and just talked me through it because, obviously, he's quite experienced, having got one or two hundreds himself," laughed Roy, who brought his century up with a huge six.
"I ticked along, from 87 to 94. I was just getting singles, then I thought 'Stuff it, I might as well get it over and done with'.
"Dean Cosker bowled it into my area, so I thought 'Why not?' and it came out of the screws. It felt unbelievable, just a terrific feeling.
"I've worked quite hard, even this week. In the first innings I didn't get any runs, but I was in the nets working with Ramps and Alec Stewart. It just goes to show it pays off.
"It's not really hit home too much, but it feels pretty special. It was a great day for me, getting a little two-for and a hundred as well. Hopefully, there's more to come in the future."
Roy's knock lit up another turgid stalemate for Surrey, where once again their lack of a match-winning bowler was badly exposed.
Set an unlikely victory target of 395 off 50 overs, Roy, in harness with Rory Hamilton-Brown, began to stir memories of Surrey's 386-3, the current world record in 40-over cricket, which came against the same opponents in last year's Clydesdale Bank 40.
The former Whitgift pupil raced to his 50, which contained 10 fours, in 38 balls.
The hundred partnership was raised in the 15th over and Hamilton-Brown brought up his half-century, in 52 deliveries, just before tea.
Surrey went into the final session requiring 266 off 31 overs, but pulled the plug when Hamilton-Brown was stumped for 68.
"We thought 'why not give it a crack'," said Roy. "So we gave it a go. At tea we thought it's game on here. After tea, unfortunately, we lost Rory, who was trying to get the game going, but that happens.
"The hard thing, with the spinners on and with no fielding restrictions, is that it's difficult to get it over and get through the field. So, when Rory got out trying to win the game for us, we had to re-assess. But, before that, we were really in the game."
Roy now boasts a strike rate of more than a run a ball in both first-class and Twenty20 cricket.
With the Friends Life t20 starting next week, Roy looks set to light up that competition, just like he did in 2010 when he became the first Surrey batsman ever to hit a Twenty20 hundred.
"I love playing Twenty20," he said. "It'll depend what the team is on the day, but wherever I bat I'm sure I'll be able to provide some entertainment. There's a feeling it's going to be very special.
"We've played really well in the CB40. Our confidence for that will just get dragged into the Twenty20.
"We've got an amazing side, with Dirk Nannes in there as well hopefully. Very special."