Cricket Round-up: Thorpe comes in at double

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RUNS, rain and a refusal provided a mixture of stories from the Championship scene yesterday, Graham Thorpe, Alistair Brown and Kim Barnett scoring heavily in a cricketing sense and Bill Athey just scoring points, writes Barrie Fairall.

First to the run-makers. Thorpe arrived at the first double-century of his career at The Oval, where Surrey stretched to 557 - their highest of the summer - against suffering Somerset. Thorpe's reign lasted seven and a half hours and he made 216. Somerset also ran up against Alistair Brown, whose 129 helped raise 211 for the fifth wicket.

Kim Barnett, meanwhile, made 156 and carried carried his bat for the first time to lead Derbyshire into a lead of 164 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. It was his fourth century of the season and the 38th of his career.

As for Athey, he stunned Gloucestershire on another rain-hit day at Bristol by announcing he is to leave the club after rejecting a two-year extension to his contract. In the absence of the injured Tony Wright, he had been due to lead the side against Leicestershire. Courtney Walsh then found himself in charge, but only 18.2 overs were possible.