Cricket: Hick and Moody run riot

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Graeme Hick and Tom Moody yesterday sent records tumbling as Worcestershire continued their remorseless punishment of the Hampshire attack at Southampton.

Hick and Moody now possess the record for the highest third-wicket partnership by any county in the history of the championship, beating Denis Compton and Bill Edrich's unbeaten 424 for Middlesex against Somerset at Lord's in 1948.

When rain brought an end to the second day they had surpassed that by 10 runs, passing four other landmarks in the process. Hick's 303 not out became the highest individual score against Hampshire, overhauling the 302 made by the Yorkshireman Percy Holmes at Portsmouth in 1920.

Hick and Moody's stand is also the highest in Worcestershire history and the highest against Hampshire for any wicket. Hick also has the biggest score made in more than 100 years of cricket at Southampton's County Ground. Moody's 180 not out was overshadowed by Hick's innings but four sixes, three of them in the same over from the spinner Shaun Udal.

Worcestershire resumed at 428 for 2 and when rain ended play for the day before lunch they were 538 for 2.

News that Ashley Cowan, the Essex pace bowler, will undergo an exploratory operation on his shoulder was the talking point at Chelmsford on a day when a combination of rain and bad light hindered Middlesex's progress against Essex.

Cowan, 22, returned from visiting a specialist to reveal he will have surgery within the next few days. "The specialist assures me there is nothing to get alarmed about," Cowan said. "The operation is a camera job designed to see exactly what the trouble is. But I understand a series of strengthening exercises and rest will sort things out." Cowan sent down 13 overs and claimed Richard Johnson's wicket as Middlesex, replying to a total of 271, advanced to 174 for 6.

Yorkshire's bowlers were again frustrated when rain and bad light wiped out almost all of the second day's play at Derby. Only 45 minutes play was possible before the umpires offered the batsmen the light with Derbyshire 30 for 1 in reply to Yorkshire's 267.