Cricket: Another century for inimitable Haynes: Henry Blofeld reports from Lord's

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The Independent Online
Surrey 332 Middlesex 330

ALTHOUGH the second day here bore a marked resemblance to the first, it was much more satisfying than the first thanks to an inimitable century by Desmond Haynes, a distinctly sharp spell before lunch from Joey Benjamin, two lightning slip catches by Monte Lynch and a most adhesive innings by Keith Brown.

Apart from Haynes and Brown, Middlesex did not bat especially well were bowled out for 330, two runs behind surrey's overnight total.

There have been few more successful overseas signings than the West Indies opening batsman and it is remarkable how, at the age of 37, he manages to keep his enthusiasm for the treadmill of the county game.

He has now scored hundreds in his last two Championship innings and with such a well-ordered and capable technique his shelf-life still has some way to run.

Like most innings he plays there were few frills, any amount of commonsense and plenty of good strokes. The most dramatic of these came when he dispatched James Boiling's off-spin into the Mound and Tavern areas for six on four occasions.

The second, a sweep, brought him to 50, the fourth, a slog to straight midwicket, to his 100. In doing so he recalled Ken Barrington's favourite party trick, when playing for England, of reaching a landmark with a six.

Brown, who is the most obdurate of batsmen as all those who saw his 100 against the 1985 Australians will remember, also played an important knock full of admirable fighting spirit.

While not getting out is his main preoccupation, Brown occasionally surprises everyone, maybe himself included. One such moment came when he advanced to Boiling and drove him far over wide mid-on for four.

Brown later found a solid partner in John Emburey, although Surrey were depleted in the evening when Waqar Younis limped off with cramp.

Benjamin's splendidly controlled burst brought him 3 for 7 in 21 balls before the lunch interval. After sending back Mike Roseberry leg before, he persuaded Mike Gatting to play back and all round his second ball and then made one go down the hill to John Carr, who pushed forward and got an edge.

By then, Boiling had begun a long spell from the Pavilion End and he took the third wicket to fall when he made one go up the hill to Mark Ramprakash, who drove and was wonderfully caught by Lynch low to his right at first slip.

It was a similar dismissal to that of Haynes, which came in the middle of the afternoon and was the deserved reward for some intelligent bowling.

(Photograph omitted)

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