Cricket: Medlycott makes his mark

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The Independent Online
England U-19 586-9 dec and 135-4 dec; Surrey Second XI 422 and 300-4. Surrey Second XI win by 6 wickets

A DECIDEDLY quirky match ended in bizarre circumstances yesterday with two batsmen who joined the proceedings half-way through swinging Surrey to an unlikely victory off the penultimate ball. To cap everything, Keith Medlycott, an England tourist three years ago but now on the dole, struck the winning blow, writes Rob Steen at The Oval.

Notwithstanding the highly irregular comings and goings on Wednesday, a farce instigated by Surrey's questionable belief that their youngsters would derive greater benefit from a two-day quiz at Hove than a four-day examination against the cream of the country's youth, those fearing for the future of English cricket would have been consoled.

Of the England colts, Yorkshire's Michael Vaughan took the laurels with the bat, switching smoothly from the attritional mode that brought him 163 runs on the opening day, to the effervescence that yielded 30 in the first half hour yesterday.

The two most dominant innings of the contest, however, came from Surrey blades. Mark Butcher gave a glimpse of his potential with a string of murderous drives on the second evening, while the wicketkeeper, Graham Kersey, newly arrived from Kent, kept a target of 300 in what became 51 overs within reach, peering through the gloom to club a perky 71.

Lancashire's Glen Chapple and Danny Law, a late replacement from Sussex, mined the seam with vigour, abetted by the wicketkeeping of Essex's Robert Rollins, who conceded just five byes in more than 200 overs. A worthwhile exercise that deserved to have been taken more seriously.

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