Cricket / Round-Up: Gooch century provides timely fillip: Essex captain's unbeaten hundred undermines Worcestershire

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The Independent Online
AN UNBEATEN century from Graham Gooch yesterday underlined the fact that he is in as good form with the bat as ever, despite the problems that culminated in his resignation from the England captaincy, writes Owen Slot. Gooch reached his hundred from 186 balls and went on to make 159, enough to sink Worcestershire by four wickets, notch up Essex's first Championship victory since the end of June, and give the old campaigner a timely confidence boost before Thursday's fifth Test.

Gooch's heroics were not alone in securing success. John Childs was left with his season's best of 6 for 37 after seeing off the three wickets that were left of Worcestershire's second innings for just 10 runs and Paul Prichard established himself as Gooch's sole partner of any worth, sharing a partnership of 164.

Sussex pulled off a 267-run victory at Durham, leapfrogging over their hosts at the foot of the Championship table after a season's best performance of 5 for 55 by Franklyn Stephenson. Durham never made much of an assault on the 478 target; they lost Wayne Larkins in the second over and were all out for 210.

Warwickshire beat Hampshire at Southampton after lively resistance by Warwickshire's tail, inspired by Trevor Penney's century, had set Hampshire a target of 289 which they fell 80 runs short of. Kent slumped to 86 for 5 against Leicestershire but were saved by a 71 from their captain, Mark Benson, which steered them to victory by three wickets.

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