Cricket: Essex's short day at the office

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The Independent Online
The occasional absurdity of cricket was perfectly illustrated at Colchester yesterday when all the trimmings of a Championship match had to be rolled out with Essex requiring just one Hampshire wicket for victory.

The day lasted 17 deliveries before Peter Such dismissed Richard Dibden for his 11th wicket of the match and completed a crushing victory by an innings and 254 runs.

Any hope of a result at Scarborough where the total number of runs - 1,473 - was a record in a Yorkshire first-class fixture, was foiled by Phil Weston and David Leatherdale who came together when Worcestershire lost their first four wickets for 31.

Tim Curtis followed his first-innings century with nought, lbw to Peter Hartley who also dismissed Gavin Haynes. Tom Moody ran himself out and Chris Silverwood gained the prized wicket of Graeme Hick.

With the chase for 379 well and truly over, the pair held Yorkshire at bay for 41 overs with a stand of 116 which secured a draw - the first in the Championship for both counties this season. Weston fell for 68 while Leatherdale remained unbeaten on 67.

Down to one fit fast bowler, the West Indies were too much for Gloucestershire, who were bowled out for 122. Kenny Benjamin, who took 5 for 52, shared the new ball with Carl Hooper in their 74-run victory.

n Phil Tufnell was fined pounds 250 yesterday and warned about his future conduct for making an obscene gesture to spectators at Lord's on Friday.

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