Cricket: From little acorns a Hollioake is born: Patient Thorpe plays second fiddle in Surrey revival - Benjamin looks sharp as Essex battle to avoid follow-on - Derbyshire victims of personal peaks

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The Independent Online
Worcestershire 205; Surrey 463-9

WHILE Thursday evening was enlivened by an unknown fast bowler, 20-year-old James Brinkley, taking Surrey's first four wickets, yesterday saw Adam Hollioake play an innings of 123 which marked him as an outstanding young batsman.

He and Graham Thorpe, who has made 189 not out, and for a long time played a quieter but no less important role, added 220 for the third wicket in 61 overs on a good pitch, with the ball no longer swinging anything like so much. Surrey are now 258 runs ahead.

Hollioake was born in Australia but came to England as a child. The Prime Minister, a Surrey supporter, is said to have ensured that the qualification papers were processed smoothly and last year Hollioake played four Championship matches, scoring 123 on debut against Derbyshire. He came in at 83 for 5 after Alistair Brown had driven Brinkley to mid-off and began to play with a convincing authority after Stuart Lampitt had dropped a difficult diving chance at third slip off Brinkley when he was two. To celebrate, Hollioake cover-drove Lampitt for two memorable fours.

Unlike so many contemporary batsmen, he scored most of his runs on the off-side as he drove and cut and ran the ball to third man. When Richard Illingworth came on, he took a step to his first ball and drove it back over the bowler's head for four. Tom Moody was hooked for six and late cut, Brinkley dispatched to the extra-cover boundary and pulled powerfully through midwicket. Thorpe was 33 when Hollioake came in, and yet Hollioake reached his 100 seven overs before Thorpe. But Thorpe did a fine job, seldom wasting an opportunity to score and not letting his partner's rate of progress disturb him.

Hollioake's 100 came in 182 minutes from 148 balls with two sixes and 12 fours while Thorpe's took 304 minutes and came from 216 balls with 12 fours.

Hollioake was finally caught behind off a tired-looking drive in the over before tea, but afterwards Thorpe and the tail ran Worcestershire ragged with the last two wickets adding 136 mostly against the new ball.

(Photograph omitted)