Cricket: Brown and Russell state their case

Gloucestershire 266-7 Surrey 270-3 Surrey win by seven wickets
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The Independent Online
THE England chairman of selectors, David Graveney, yesterday saw the best of both Alistair Brown and Jack Russell - two men desperate after their winter experiences to prove they should not be forgotten.

One-day maestro Brown finished on the winning side in the Benson and Hedges Cup tie, largely thanks to his own 74 from just 68 balls.

Wicketkeeper Russell had earlier made 83 in Gloucestershire's 266 for 7, a challenging total made to look almost ridiculously puny - even in gloomy, chilly conditions.

Brown was the only member of England's triumphant team at Sharjah last December to be dropped for the one-day series in the West Indies which concluded the unhappy winter tour.

Russell, after a wretched Test tour of the Caribbean with both bat and gloves, has spent the last fortnight reading about how Graveney's panel intend to restore Stewart as England's full-time wicketkeeper.

Today he was promoted by his county to three in an attempt to disrupt the line of Surrey's new ball attack.

Russell, squirting and swatting in his idiosyncratic style, looked back to his best as he put on 96 with the stylish Rob Cunliffe and then spiritedly stayed to fulfil the anchor role in a well-paced 129-ball effort.

Gloucestershire plundered 90 runs from their last 10 overs, but in reply the intimidating opening partnership of Brown and Alec Stewart set off at a rate of seven runs an over.

Brown thrashed three sixes off Jon Lewis and five fours to open his case for inclusion in the Texaco Trophy squad to face South Africa. When he departed at 152, Graham Thorpe saw Surrey almost across the finishing line with a brilliant 85 off 105 balls.