Cricket: Tide turns against House

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John Major, suddenly with more time on his hands, quickly found something to do yesterday, writes Mark Burton. After a visit to the Palace and leaving Downing Street behind, he crossed the river to pop in at The Oval and saw Surrey beat the British Universities by six wickets with almost 25 overs to spare. A comfortable victory by any standards, except perhaps parliamentary.

As if to underline the point, the House rose to the occasion, Will of that ilk taking the Gold Award for an entertaining 93 off 92 balls, but the Light Blue finished on the losing side.

Durham swept through Scotland at Forfar to enhance their chances of a first appearance in the quarter-finals. The Scots made painfully slow progress, with the opener Bruce Patterson hitting two singles in the 16 overs he survived. They accumulated only 150 for 8 off their 50 overs and Durham needed less than half of theirs to knock them off for the loss of two wickets.

Robin Smith, the former England batsman, hit 92 but he could not save Hampshire from defeat by two runs to Gloucestershire, who made 263 for 9 at Southampton.

When last man Raj Maru hit a six over the covers off Mike Smith, victory looked possible but Smith recovered his poise and Hampshire, needing four off the last ball, could only manage two.

Jack Russell, the England wicketkeeper, has escaped punishment from Lord's for his autobiography Jack Russell Unleashed.

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