Cricket: Brinkley defiant to the last ball: Lampitt clamps Gloucestershire

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The Independent Online
Worcestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .329-9 dec and 180-9

Gloucestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .390 and 203-7 dec

Match drawn

JAMES BRINKLEY, Worcestershire's last man, fended off the final delivery from Martyn Ball to achieve a draw at 6.35pm after a remarkable day in which Stuart Lampitt's down-the-order resistance did much to deny Gloucestershire.

Brinkley survived after Neal Radford had been caught at silly point but such was the commitment of both captains, especially Worcestershire's, that even protracted bad light did not deflect the victory quest. For most of an uninterrupted day, five beacons, the umpires' guideline, blazed away but no one accepted the 'off we go' opportunity.

Any neutral would sympathise with Worcestershire, whose opponents scored their runs throughout the match at around 2.7 runs an over, having won the toss, yet not commanded the game. Worcestershire's target of 265 from 54 overs in the persistently bad light, which had been predictable from the start, was at 4.9.

Only Tim Curtis was dismissed when four lights were on, and that before 4pm. At the end, Courtney Walsh, fearing the consequences of bowling at anything resembling full pace, delivered a curious mixture of spin from a great height.

Simon Hinks, with an innings of 74, had steered Gloucestershire to a safety- first declaration. Few West Indians have been appointed as county captains but Walsh adopted the alternative school of thought to that of one of his most famous and generous predecessors, Sir Garfield Sobers, of Nottinghamshire.

When Gloucestershire declared, Graeme Hick's unavailability to bat at No 7 because of a strained back hindered Worcestershire, while his dismissal to a catch on the square- leg boundary simply confirmed that the victory target was too challenging.