Cricket Round-Up: Hick cuts loose

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GRAEME HICK yesterday hit his third successive century in Championship matches, writes Owen Slot. Hick batted through to Worcestershire's tail and plundered Middlesex's bowling in an 83-run last-wicket stand with Richard Stemp, before finally being run out on 168. Yesterday's century at Uxbridge follows a double-century on Wednesday. It has certainly been a brilliant week for Hick with the bat; we find out today if the national selectors have made it even better.

After lunch, with eight wickets down, Hick cut loose, four sixes following one before lunch, until his fun was finally ended when his wicket was thrown down by Mark Ramprakash. Middlesex's reply faltered early when Desmond Haynes was caught for one. Mike Roseberry then stole the show with a rapid, unbeaten 113, leaving Mike Gatting to play a minor part and take a comparatively meagre 57.

Particularly impressive at Guildford yesterday was the way Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe took apart the fast bowling of Warwickshire's Allan Donald. During Surrey's chase of 372, Donald had a spell of just four overs in which he was hit for 16 runs before being replaced. Stewart hit an aggressive 67 and Thorpe's 86 was his 10th half- century of the season. Their good work was continued throughout the order, enabling Surrey to match Warwickshire in declaration.

Lancashire faced having to follow on at Northampton when an early collapse made the home team's 345 look an awesome target. But Warren Hegg steadied the ship with an unbeaten 76, and Lancashire finished just 47 runs adrift. Two visiting supporters celebrated the recovery by streaking onto the pitch, and were duly escorted from the ground. Northamptonshire extended their lead to 115 by the close for the loss of Nigel Felton.