Cricket: Pollard's century sees Surrey suffer: Nottinghamshire left in the driving seat

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Nottinghamshire . . . . . . . . . . .275-8


CHRIS LEWIS was missing with flu yesterday (which after his West Indian sunstroke marks him as a genuine all- rounder) and on a day so miserable that it was an achievement to get through even half the game, a good proportion of the thin gathering of shivering specatators may subsequently have joined him.

Surrey look as though they might have caught at least a cold by inserting the home team and conceding 275, although it could have been flu had it not been for a timely rain break when Nottinghamshire were beginning to cut loose. Paul Johnson, having struck 26 off 18 deliveries, then had to wait more than an hour and a half and when he was out three balls after the resumption, a probable 300- plus total disappeared with him.

However, with the forecast for today not hugely different (damp, dark and cold) Nottinghamshire still have something to bowl at. There is moisture and movement in the pitch and powerful though Surrey's batting line- up may be, the inadequacy of their bowling yesterday means that they will still require a high-quality innings or two to win.

Nottinghamshire had just the one yesterday, from their left-handed opener Paul Pollard, whose 104 came off 114 balls and included 12 boundaries. Pollard, as did everyone else, found plenty of deliveries seaming past his outside edge, but he has an uncomplicated method whenever anything is there to hit and Surrey's generosity in this department also extended to 14 wides and 10 no-balls.

Pollard, and the less- touted of the two Crawleys, Mark, put on 130 for the first wicket in 31 overs and by the time rain began to spit from a sky dark enough for anything between three and five lights to be illuminated on the scoreboard all day, Nottinghamshire were 195 for 3 with 16 overs still remaining.

The overs immediately preceding the stoppage had provided the best entertainment of the day, featuring a one- sided contest between Johnson and Cameron Cuffy, a tall fast bowler from St Vincent who played against England in a representative game in Guyana last winter.

It was scarcely eyeball to eyeball, given that Johnson would not have to duck too far to be leg before off the helmet, but ducking is rarely in his repertoire when Johnson spies a West Indian length, and Cuffy - having bowled his first six overs for 24 - promptly disappeared for 29 in his next (and last) two.

Disappeared was the right word for one delivery, which, short leg-side boundary notwithstanding, sailed a very long way for six and into the traffic (most of which was on dipped headlights) on Bridgford Road.

However, when Johnson bottom-edged an attempted pull off Martin Bicknell into his stumps, the innings faltered badly. Whether it faltered fatally we shall see, weather permitting, today.

Matthew Maynard is expected to be out of action for three weeks after breaking a knuckle in his right hand playing for the Glamorgan second team.