Hick's heroics torment Gloucestershire again

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The Independent Online

Gloucestershire are one of those sides who are sick of the sight of Graeme Hick. At Cheltenham they might have hoped to defend a target of 361. Then they remembered Hick.

Gloucestershire are one of those sides who are sick of the sight of Graeme Hick. At Cheltenham they might have hoped to defend a target of 361. Then they remembered Hick.

He made 262 against them in May, and yesterday he recorded his 10th century against them, 178, off 265 balls with 24 fours and three sixes, almost half the runs required. His 126th first-class century puts him level with Gloucester's finest, W G Grace, in 10th place on the all-time list.

Hick added 189 with the Australian all-rounder Andy Bichel, who made 103 not out off 141 balls with 11 fours and four sixes as his side made 363 for 5, Gloucestershire failing to consolidate on their second place in the First Division.

Out-of-sorts Surrey face defeat in a relegation battle on a turning pitch at Northampton. Having dismissed the only side below them for 332, Surrey were bundled out for 147 as Jason Brown reaped 4 for 51 to add to his five in the first innings and his fellow off-spinner Graeme Swann took 3 for 50. That left Surrey to defend a target of 218, and Northamptonshire progressed rapidly to 137 for 2 with a day to go, looking to record their first win of the season.

Nottinghamshire reinforced their position at the top of the Second Division by defeating Essex at Southend. The captain, Jason Gallian, led his side to victory with an unbeaten 120, off 167 balls with 20 fours, putting on 118 with Kevin Pietersen, who made 69 not out as they totalled 246 for 2.

Hampshire harbour strong hopes of promotion under the inspired leadership of Shane Warne. At Cardiff the Australian leg-spinner took 6 for 65 as Glamorgan were all out for 169, Matthew Elliott, the Australian opener, carrying his bat for 77. The visitors needed 173 to steal into second place ahead of the hitherto unbeaten Welsh county, and cruised to 173 for 1 with a day to spare.

Yorkshire were trying to catch up with the promotion trio at Derby, the home side declaring on 305 for 9 to set a stiff target of 358 in 83 overs. Anthony McGrath hit a career-best 174 off 229 balls with 20 fours and a six to add to his five first-innings wickets but Yorkshire fell tantalisingly short on 341 for 8.

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