Cricket: Bicknell's brilliance

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The Independent Online
Sussex. . . 213 and 243

Surrey. . . 456 and 1-0

Surrey win by 10 wickets

DAVID SMITH, the former Surrey player, enjoyed every minute of his innings against his old county but was unable to deny them a three-day victory over Sussex. The spinner James Boiling induced Smith into a leading-edge chip shot to mid-wicket which ended an innings of class that helped make Surrey bat again to score the single run which secured a 10-wicket victory.

Surrey have assembled as impressive a group of England A players as any county - the Bicknell brothers, Darren and Martin, Graham Thorpe and James Boiling - none of whom have yet to graduate to a bigger stage. This match has seen a strong bid by the Bicknells, who have shadowed each other from village green to international cricket.

On Thursday Martin's six cheap wickets had enabled his brother to start an innings that only ended with an impatient dart at the persistent Eddie Hemmings. Darren Bicknell missed his first double century and failed to carry his bat, but his almost flawless epic saw him pass both his previous highest score of 186 and a milestone of 7,000 runs for Surrey. Bowling with the gale and the Hove slope, Franklyn Stephenson attacked at rib-tickling height, but Bicknall cut and hooked him with aplomb.

Apart from Smith's resistance and supporting role rewards for bustling Tony Murphy, the evening belonged once again to the bowling Bicknell, with 11 wickets in the match to go alongside Darren's 190. It's a team game, and the Bicknells make a pretty good partnership.

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