Veteran Stewart still feels the buzz

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The Independent Online

Alec Stewart was delighted that his unbeaten 67 against Zimbabwe at the Riverside not only stabilised the England innings but saw him become his country's second-highest scorer in Test history.

"To go past players like David Gower and Geoff Boycott is something I am proud of, it gives you a bit more enjoyment and it is another reason to carry on playing," Stewart said.

"I feel exactly the same as I did 20 years ago, I have the same buzz and pre-match nerves I have always had and that is a good thing because it shows you are up for the game."

Stewart started the day needing 19 runs to overhaul Gower and now stands 620 runs behind Graeme Gooch, who scored over 8,900 runs for England. His unbeaten stand of 142 with Anthony McGrath rescued the home side after Zimbabwe's Doug Hondo took the wickets of Mark Butcher, Robert Key and Nasser Hussain in 11 balls.

"My bowling was good apart from the wind pushing me back which made me struggle first up," said the dreadlocked Hondo, who insisted the catch claimed by Grant Flower to dismiss Key had carried. "I saw the ball go into his hands and I was convinced he was out," he added.