Cricket: Russell in fiery form

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Derbyshire. . . . . 521 and 42-2

Gloucestershire. . .139 and 520

JACK RUSSELL, the Gloucestershire wicketkeeper England appear to think is unable to bat, was left stranded on 99 but was still able to deny Derbyshire a win inside three days at Cheltenham.

His efforts helped the home side, bowled out for 139 in their first innings, to battle back to 520 in their second innings, setting Derbyshire a victory target of 139.

However, Derbyshire, seeking a third championship win, quickly lost Peter Bowler and Simon Base to Courtney Walsh as they made 42 of the runs by the close.

Russell has made only four centuries - one of them for England - but was desperately unlucky not to make it five yesterday as he cracked 18 fours.

Although Allan Warner finished with 10 wickets in the match, Derbyshire's hopes of a win by an innings were held up by Russell and Chris Broad, who had been dismissed for a duck in the first innings.

They put on 114 for the sixth wicket and when Broad was caught at point for 120 after batting for five hours, Russell took over.

He had been there for three hours when his final partner, Martin Gerrard, was caught behind.

Broad, dropping down to No 4 to add experience to the younger batsmen, hit 16 boundaries in his 49th first-class century.

He shared stands of 71 with Mark Alleyne (46) and 115 with Tim Hancock (56) for the fourth and fifth wickets.