Cricket: Fine early Tudor

Surrey 278 & 166-5 Leicestershire 340 Match drawn
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The First delivery of the day upset Leicestershire's plans. Narrowly in front on Friday evening, their best hope of squeezing victory from circumstances determined by bad weather and slow cricket seemed to depend at the very least on rapidly accelerated scoring, something the combination of Paul Nixon and David Millns might reasonably be expected to provide.

However, Millns - proud compiler of a match-winning 114 not out at Southampton a week ago - had time only to take guard yesterday before turning on his heels, dismissed leg before wicket by Alex Tudor, the 19-year-old pace- bowling prospect from whom many predict great deeds.

Thereafter, what remained of Leicestershire's first innings became a waste of time. Nixon struggled to get the strike, while his colleagues laboured for paltry reward. Gordon Parsons chopped Chris Lewis to gully, where Martin Bicknell took a good catch, before Adrian Pierson lost his leg stump to a superb ball from the one-time enigma of Grace Road, now in the temporary guise of Surrey captain.

Even the consolation of a fourth batting point eluded the champions. Alan Mullally, omitted from the England squad at the start of the week, ended it by giving away his wicket with an awful slog to leave Nixon stranded on 64 and the Leicestershire total 10 runs too light.

The previous 72 minutes might just as well have not taken place; a Leicestershire lead of 62 in the circumstances was neither here nor there. Mullally, not even handed the new ball as Surrey's second innings began, thrust his hands deep into his pockets and looked glum.

After the loss of the first day, followed by the crawl of Surrey's first innings, a draw always looked likely; now it seemed inevitable. Struggling to cope with missing five internationals, Surrey seemed happy enough not to lose. Millns had Mark Butcher leg before without scoring, Mullally bowled Jason Ratcliffe with a fine inswinger, and then Aftab Habib held a bat-pad catch to dismiss Darren Bicknell, with the arrears still not cleared. But Lewis (47 not out) and Ally Brown (40) guided Surrey to safety.

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