Surrey sweating on Rampaul fitness after hamstring injury

LONDON, CMC – West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul limped out of Surrey’s County Championship contest with Middlesex on the opening day yesterday, raising fears over his availability and adding to the club’s injury crisis.

The right-armer was on the verge of completing his 11th over – the 39th of the day – when he pulled up with what was later determined to be a hamstring strain and never returned to the field.

In his absence, Surrey bowled with discipline to limit the visitors to 298 for seven, after they opted to bat first.

Seamer Tom Curran led the attack with three for 80 while pacer James Burke (2-56) and former England off-spinner Gareth Batty (2-60) finished with two wickets apiece.

Opener Nick Gubbins top-scored with 91 in a first-wicket stand of 126 with Sam Robson who hit 53, while Dawid Malan struck 58 at number three.

Rampaul’s injury adds to an already injury-stricken Surrey side struggling without the services of seamers Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach, left-arm spinner Freddie van den Bergh and all-rounder Zafar Ansari.

The 31-year-old Rampaul was signed to replace the injured Dernbach last month.

He had earlier bowled without luck, having Robson dropped on nine off his bowling as he went on to finish wicket-less for 47 runs.

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