Cricket / Round-Up: Brown goes to town to avenge Surrey

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The Independent Online
IT WAS only a matter of time before Alistair Brown exploded. The timing of the detonation yesterday, moreover, was impeccable, writes Rob Steen.

Facing Lancashire, who had mowed down the last nine Surrey wickets for 18 to snatch a remarkable Benson and Hedges Cup win at The Oval last month, Brown sped to 103 off 68 balls as the hosts ran up 259 for 9. Suitably demoralised, the hitherto unbeaten visitors sank for 94, Adam Hollioake, a Melbourne- born seamer, taking a competition-best 4 for 33.

With both protagonists beginning the day undefeated, something was bound to give at Northampton - or was it? At 165 for 6, four runs short, a Worcestershire win looked inevitable when the final over began, but Paul Taylor dismissed Phil Newport and Chris Tolley while yielding just two singles from the first four balls. Kenny Benjamin was run out off the fifth and Richard Illingworth took a single from the last to salvage a tie.

Peter Bowler (104) was the day's other centurion as Derbyshire totted up 240 for 2 against the 40-over champions at Lord's. Mark Ramprakash retorted with 84 and Middlesex withstood Devon Malcolm (4 for 36) to prevail by two wickets.

Runs were considerably harder to come by at Edgbaston, where Sussex maintained their unblemished record as well as a share of the leadership, Adrian Jones (4 for 24) restricting Warwickshire to 133 as the visitors squeezed home by two wickets.

Carl Hooper (70 not out) and Neil Taylor (80) forged the day's biggest stand, adding 147 in 37 overs for the third wicket to spur Kent to the seven-wicket win over Gloucestershire that kept them at Sussex's shoulder, a victory soured by an ankle injury expected to sideline Dean Headley for at least a fortnight.