Cricket: Short work for Surrey

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The Independent Online
Surrey smashed their way to victory in one of the shortest innings since the start of the Sunday League as they crushed Leicestershire by 10 wickets at The Oval.

Leicestershire were bowled out for 48 runs in 22 overs on a bouncy wicket - Surrey needed just 4.3 overs and 18 minutes to reach 50 without loss. The England all-rounder Chris Lewis took 3 for 13; Martin Bicknell bowled beautifully for his 3 for 16 return while Joey Benjamin, with 2 for 10, and Brendon Julian (2 for 7), mopped up.

No Leicester player got into double figures in the ninth-equal lowest innings in the Sunday League. There have been only 11 occasions since the 40-over competition began in 1969 that sides have been bowled out for fewer than 50 runs - Hampshire were the last, bowled out for 45 by Worcestershire in 1988.

Alistair Brown and Darren Bicknell then came out and wasted little time in securing victory. Brown clouted a six and five fours as in reaching 30 not out off 15 balls, and Bicknell hit three boundaries in his 13-ball innings.

There is little likelihood that the wicket will be reported by the umpires since it appeared to have good pace and bounce.

At Chester-le-Street, Mike Atherton defied a blow on the hand, before he had scored, to make 91 not out in Lancashire's eight-wicket Sunday League win against Durham.

Atherton needed treatment to his right index finger after being struck by Simon Brown, who opened up with three maidens as Durham tried to defend a modest total of 173 for 8. But any fears that the England captain might struggle to be fit for Thursday's second Test against India at Lord's vanished as he pressed the accelerator in impressive style.

After making only eight off the first 11 overs, he reached 50 off 80 balls by sweeping James Boiling for his third four.

His remaining 41 runs came off only 39 balls as he shared an unbroken stand of 126 with Nick Speak, guiding Lancashire home with 4.3 overs to spare.

Mike Watkinson, the Sunday League's leading run scorer with 289 before this match, blasted 26 in the opening stand of 33 and Steve Elworthy made only 10 before being superbly stumped by David Ligertwood off a legside wide by Phil Bainbridge.

Peter Martin reduced Durham to 25 for 3, although Sherwin Campbell was unlucky when his foot slipped in setting off for a run and he dislodged a bale. Ligertwood was top scorer with 36 not out.

After the match, the Lancashire physio, Lawrie Brown, said: "Mike Atherton should have no problems for the Test match. The tip of his finger obviously stung but he will be OK."

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