Cricket: Record for slick Hick

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MIKE ATHERTON enjoyed a day of comparative prosperity for Lancashire yesterday, yet the England captain's 42 constituted little more than a temporary roadblock as Worcestershire took considerable strides towards an innings victory in advance of tomorrow's NatWest final.

In amassing 591, their highest total at Old Trafford, the visitors were indebted to Graeme Hick, whose 215 surpassed his own 212 in 1988 as a ground record for the county, the hosts' vaunted young fast bowler Glen Chapple finishing with the somewhat quixotic return of 5 for 149 from 31 overs. Trailing by 324, Lancashire adjourned on a shaky 186 for four.

In the mano a mano struggle for the all-rounder's berth in Australia, Dominic Cork responded to Chris Lewis's feats at Worksop with a last-minute reminder of his own assets at Sheffield. A characteristically vigorous 50 off 36 balls, including a six and 10 fours, helped Derbyshire declare 35 behind, whereupon Cork dismissed Michael Vaughan as Yorkshire extended their advantage to 75.