Cricket: Butcher stakes his England claim

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The Independent Online
Surrey were guilty of losing their way after winning the toss and making an impressive start to their County Championship confrontation with Sussex on an excellent batting strip at Guildford yesterday. But the match still provided Mark Butcher with a platform for his skills to impress the watching England selector Graham Gooch.

Displaying immaculate timing and footwork, Butcher played some stunning shots, and laid the foundation for what promised to be a big score with a 57, along with Alec Stewart (74) and Graham Thorpe (66). But all were guilty of not capitalising on their good start when individual hundreds were there for the taking.

Disciplined Sussex bowling, particularly from Jason Lewry, Paul Jarvis and Danny Law, saw Surrey fold from 251 for 2 to 300 for 8 with six batsmen departing for the addition of just 49 runs in 21 overs.

By the close Graham Kersey and Martin Bicknell had guided Surrey to 317 for 8 off 104 overs.