Cricket Round-up: Gooch outbats Kent

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GRAHAM GOOCH quickly surpassed all that Kent could manage, 191, yesterday. He completed his 108th first-class century and then settled down for another, writes Richard Wetherell.

When he was finally out for 236 he had hit 28 fours and three sixes. His 322-ball stay ended when he was caught behind off Alan Igglesden and it continues his Lara-esque start to the season. An unbeaten 123 guided Essex to an eight-wicket win against Hampshire in the Championship and his 130 won the Benson and Hedges Cup match against Leicestershire on Tuesday.

The Essex captain put on 316 for the first wicket with Paul Prichard, who scored a century himself. Carl Hooper ended that partnership, catching Prichard off his own bowling.

Prichard has had an impressive start to the season as well. He scored 108 in Essex's victory over Durham in the last round of Championship matches and went one run better yesterday.

Kent's day of bowling misery came to an end with Essex on 446 for 3, a lead of 255.

Despite losing their prolific openers, Darren Bicknell and Alec Stewart, who was trapped lbw for nought by Andrew Harris's second first-class delivery, with only 10 on the board against Derbyshire, Surrey went a long way towards winning their third successive Championship match.

Graham Thorpe and David Ward then combined to put Surrey in the lead. Thorpe fell for 114 while Ward joined Gooch in the double-hundred club as they put on 301. Ward ended the day unbeaten on 216 as Surrey amassed 373 for 5.

Hampshire had Sussex languishing at 34 for 5 and 73 for 6 as Norman Cowans took three wickets for his new county before Ian Salisbury joined Martin Speight. They put on 151 for the seventh wicket when Salisbury was out for 49. Speight fell to Shaun Udal for 126 as they gained an unexpected lead of 12.