Somerset 342 & 276 Surrey 266 & 356-6: Brown and Clarke power Surrey to stunning triumph

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The Independent Online

Alistair Brown hammered a brilliant, unbeaten hundred to help to steer the Second Division leaders Surrey to a scorching victory over Somerset yesterday.

After bowling out the West Country side rather more cheaply than expected shortly after lunch, Surrey were left chasing a target of 353 off the best part of five sessions or 163 overs.

Mark Ramprakash laid the foundations with his second half-century of the match and, although Surrey lost both openers and captain Mark Butcher, they still had enough big shots in their armoury.

Brown and Rikki Clarke shared in a shattering fifth wicket stand of 189 off 32 overs, which ensured that the match would be over in three days. Clarke's departure for 77 and that of James Benning on the threshold of victory meant that the extra half-hour had to be taken. But their loss was a mere hiccup, and Brown was able to supply the coup de grâce with the 22nd and 23rd fours of his chanceless 121-ball innings, with just over three overs of the extra eight remaining in the day.

It maintained a stunning run of form which has seen him score a match-winning double hundred in the previous match and a superb half-century in the first innings here.

The Somerset batsmen had been unable to maintain the momentum of the previous evening and their second innings fell away sharply when leg-spinner Ian Salisbury was introduced into the attack.

Had it not been for Somerset captain Cameron White's third championship hundred the Surrey run chase would have been infinitely more feeble.

Salisbury spent the winter working on his action, getting his arm higher, and the results are there for all to see. His 4 for 36 took his first-class tally to 34.

Neil Saker who had done a fair bit of damage the previous day added the wicket of Matthew Wood to finish with a career best 4 for 79.

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