There were batting pyrotechnics from the Australian Phil Jaques at The Oval yesterday as Worcestershire conjured up an incredible victory against Surrey after rain threatened to turn this latest round of Liverpool Victoria County Championship games into a damp squib.
Chasing an improbable 285 to win, the visitors reached their target off only 31.5 overs just before 7pm with two wickets to spare - thanks largely to Jaques hammering 107 off 69 deliveries.
Worcestershire looked to be cruising as Jaques and Stephen Moore put on 171 for the first wicket but, when Moore was run out for 57, there was a middle-order collapse as Nayan Doshi took four wickets. However, Ben Smith smacked an unbeaten 46 off 34 balls and Zaheer Khan finished the match in style, smashing his first ball from Doshi for six. Earlier, Worcestershire had declared their first innings on 353 for 9 before Surrey's batsmen took advantage of some "joke" bowling to hammer 136 for 3 off 8.2 overs before setting their target.
Elsewhere in the Second Division, play was abandoned without a ball being bowled on the final day at Derby, as the hosts drew with Leicestershire. The C & G Trophy match between Glamorgan and Middlesex at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was also washed out.
In the First Division, Steve Harmison did not bowl as the match between Nottinghamshire and Durham petered out into a draw at Trent Bridge. The champions were bowled out for 313, in reply to Durham's first-innings score of 404 for 8 declared, to end play. Durham sent down 24.1 overs and it was unclear why the England paceman had not bowled.
In Jamaica, Ramnaresh Sarwan was left 98 not out as the West Indies stumbled to 198 for 9 off their 50 overs in the second one-day international against India. Irfan Pathan was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 45.