Cricket: Hampshire rip Surrey to shreds

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The Independent Online
Surrey 150

Hampshire 527-5

WITH Surrey's underbelly exposed, Hampshire slipped in the knife and gave it a fearful twist here, which should lead them merrily to a fourth Championship victory in five matches. Sooner rather than later, too, with Monday many a nautical mile away for an apparently mortally wounded big fish whose title hopes are sinking about as fast as a third successive defeat beckons.

Yesterday you began to wonder how Surrey had managed to ride so high in the water for so long, because they bore no resemblance to the side who arrived still in contention for the pennant. They were beginning to look losers round about the end of the very first session and have continued in the same vein ever since.

Though Giles White gave himself a black mark after failing to add to his overnight 57, Paul Terry proceeded to a fourth century of the season. Terry and White had added 163 for the second wicket and Terry was not finished yet. He featured in another three- figure stand, this one with Robin Smith, before he was stumped chasing a wide one.

Surrey were scraping the barrel in the bowling department. Cameron Cuffy having withdrawn with strained chest muscles, there was the strange sight of Alistair Brown and Andy Smith turning their arms over at the start of the second session.

Brown delivered one over last season, while Smith collected five wickets in the last campaign for nearly 350 runs. When Monte Lynch joined the 'attack', the eighth out of nine bowlers tried and another of last season's one-over merchants, the white flag had surely been raised.

Robin Smith plundered the rubbish for 75 before ducking a beamer from Adam Hollioake and losing his middle stump. As for Mark Nicholas, he sat at the head of the table and feasted on a third century in four visits to the crease.