Cricket: Much ado about Such

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The Independent Online
Essex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418

Surrey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133-3

ALTHOUGH the weather was a threat for much of the time the second day's play here was a good advertisement for four-day cricket. Essex, who resumed at 317 for 6, were all out just before lunch and by the time rain intervened after tea Surrey still trailed by 285 with three men gone.

If this had been a three-day game Essex would either have declared first thing or gone all out for runs. As it was, they were able to continue without feeling that time was a problem and Derek Pringle, a member of England's Texaco Trophy squad, had the opportunity to play an innings at his own pace, a luxury seldom afforded a No 8 in three-day matches.

He made good use of the chance with a sound 50 while Peter Such, the favourite to fill the off-spinner's berth in the Test series, showed that he too has rather more than the most basic knowledge of batting. On- driving a no-ball from Joey Benjamin for six he became the first batsman to raise the total by eight runs with one stroke under the new regulations whereby a no-ball counts two and is added to any runs scored off the bat.

Surrey then made a competent enough start, but no sooner had they brought up the 50 than Darren Bicknell aimed to square cut Mark Ilott, failed to get over the ball and was caught by Salim Malik in the gully.

Alec Stewart played some nice shots off Such, whose line erred too much to leg when bowling at the left-handed Graham Thorpe. The best stroke came when Stewart on-drove Ilott for four but soon afterwards he hooked at the same bowler and was caught at fine leg.

Monte Lynch ran himself out at 109, pushing Foster to mid-on for Lloyd Tennant, fielding as substitute for John Stephenson, to throw down the wicket with an underarm return. Thorpe hit four good boundaries against Graham Gooch before the ever-darkening clouds had the last word.