Cricket: Brown steers Surrey home

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The Independent Online
A SUPERBLY controlled unbeaten 110 from Alistair Brown steered Surrey to victory on the final day of a close contest against Essex at The Oval.

A Surrey win looked far from assured when Brown came to the crease yesterday with his side 111 for 4, still well short of their victory target of 272. But the 29-year-old, considered unlucky by some not to make England's final 15 for the World Cup because of his powerful hitting, was perfectly content to play orthodox defensive shots against the controlled off-spin of Peter Such.

Although Brown's batting was responsible, his runs came in good time - his first 50 taking 68 balls, and his century coming off 177 deliveries. He received good support from Ben Hollioake, the pair adding 87 for the sixth wicket.

Glamorgan were made to work hard before claiming the remaining seven Gloucestershire wickets and sealing their second successive Championship win in Cardiff.

Gloucestershire, resuming at 103 for 3 on the final morning and needing a near-impossible 361 runs for victory, batted with much more resolution than in their first innings with Matt Windows hitting 57. But in the end the task was beyond them and they were eventually dismissed for 291 in mid-afternoon to give Glamorgan victory by 172 runs.

A brilliant unbeaten century by the Australian left-hander Justin Langer steered Middlesex to an impressive five-wicket win over Yorkshire at Headingley.

When play began with the visitors needing another 183 runs with seven wickets standing, it looked like being a tense finale to a good contest. But, after the loss of nightwatchman Simon Cook, who made five in 49 minutes, and Owais Shah for a duck, Langer and fellow left-hander Paul Weekes made light of the task of reaching 225.

Yorkshire's bowling was disappointing but that takes no credit away from Langer, whose shot selection was superb and who hardly made an error throughout his 279-minute innings. Langer finished on 127 not out with 16 fours from 203 balls, while Weekes had a dozen fours in his unbeaten 65.

Will Kendall hit an unbeaten 39 as Hampshire gained maximum points from a comfortable seven-wicket win over weakened Worcestershire at Southampton.

Hampshire were set just 91 runs to win having captured the last Worcestershire wicket in the morning, with the pace bowler Alex Morris finishing with a career-best 5 for 52 to give him 10 wickets in the match.

Hampshire's captain, Robin Smith, said: "We may have surprised some people by winning two games already but we do not regard this as a fluke. The players are confident and playing for each other."