Surrey 608-7 v Gloucestershire 207.

Thanks to the eleventh first-class double-century of Mark Ramprakash's career and a maiden championship hundred from James Benning, to celebrate his twenty-third birthday, Surrey pummelled Gloucestershire into near submission at the Oval yesterday, posting their highest ever total against the visitors.

The fifth wicket pair put on 187 in 34 overs. For Ramprakash, it was the third three-figure partnership in which he had played a part; a feat he has managed three times before as a Brown Cap - against Somerset in 2002, Nottinghamshire in 2003 and Sussex last year. Sir Jack Hobbs only achieved it twice for his county and nobody else has done it more than once for the club. But when Ramprakash then helped put on 110 in 18 overs with Azhar Mahmood, he became the first batsmen ever to be involved in four hundred stands in the same innings for Surrey.

During the course of his 403-ball occupation, which resumes this morning, the former Middlesex man went past one thousand first-class runs against Gloucestershire and 7,000 first-class runs for Surrey. He posted his 28th hundred since moving to the Oval in 2001 in 146 deliveries, reached 150 for the twelfth time for his new county off 242 balls and progressed to his sixth double-century for the Brown Caps off 324 balls. But Ramprakash needed just 49 deliveries to move to 250. He gave just one chance, on 178, when he nearly fell victim to a diving catch at gully, by Ball, off the bowling of Carl Greenidge.

By comparison Benning's hundred, his second in as many visits to the crease this term, was short and sweet. It took him exactly one hundred deliveries, the second fifty requiring just twenty-eight balls.

Gloucestershire's skipper, Alex Gidman, with meagre resources at his disposal, delayed the taking of the new ball until ten overs before tea. It proved to be a turning point, though not in the way he had hoped. By the time the break arrived, Gidman must have concluded that he had been a tad hasty.

He was badly let down by Steve Kirby in particular. The former Yorkshire firebrand was clattered for five fours in one over by Benning - the seventh with the replacement cherry. The first boundary was crunched through extra cover, but the last four were ideal fodder for anyone wishing to perfect the pull stroke.

The only Gloucestershire bowler to enjoy any measure of success was Martyn Ball, who accounted for Scott Newman with his second ball of the day and after lunch produced a spell of 14-3-28-2 which included the wickets of Mark Butcher and Alistair Brown in consecutive overs. Butcher was caught at short fine leg off a top-edged sweep for a responsible 47. But Brown, whose place in the Surrey side is starting to look under threat with Benning in a rich vein, was bowled for four attempting to cut one off his stumps.

In the midst of Ramprakash's late day charge, which saw Ramprakash hoisting Ball for two sixes and Gidman and Kirby for one each in the space of eight overs, Mahmood slapped a return catch to Martyn Ball before Ian Salisbury gave him his first five-wicket haul in the County Championship since 2003.