Adshead returns to haunt Surrey with maiden ton

Gloucestershire 350 - Surrey 29-1 Match abandoned at 73 mins
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The Independent Online

Last month Stephen Adshead and Alex Gidman hit Surrey with a record fifth-wicket stand of 235 - the former's score of 93 was, at that point, a career best. This time the partnership was only worth 110 runs but its value could prove far greater.

Gidman, leading the side for only the second time, did so from the front. He had emerged with his men in complete disarray, three of them were back in the pavilion with just one run on the board.

A half-century stand with Matt Windows restored some order, but it was Adshead who changed the course of the day. He has proved to be a rock at the crease of late, and Surrey were caught between him and the hard case that is Gidman.

When the captain finally fell lbw to Azhar Mahmood, he had done his bit, even resisting the wiles of a thicker-set, bearded Saqlain Mushtaq. The Pakistani off-spinner, having recovered from a couple of knee operations, has been signed as Surrey's second overseas player to the end of the season, when his position will be reviewed.

Gloucestershire owed all their batting bonus points to Adshead, who reached his maiden first-class hundred and remained unbeaten at the end after more than four hours.

He found support from another of Surrey's bêtes noirs with a bat, James Averis, who also boasts a career best against Surrey, 48, scored here last year. He didn't quite match that this time but still shared in a half-century stand before becoming Saqlain's first victim in more than a year.

The Surrey attack certainly needs Saqlain. There is no Jimmy Ormond (broken hand), Rikki Clarke (similar) or Martin Bicknell (Achilles tear). At least their captain Mark Butcher was back in action after recovering from his wrist problems. He will certainly have his work cut out today after losing opening partner Scott Newman in the penultimate over.

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