Football: Stewart turns screw on Middlesex

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The Independent Online
Surrey 268-4; Middlesex 193-9

Surrey win on faster scoring rate

SURREY enjoy beating no one more than Middlesex, who have already won the Sunday League, and they will have gained great satisfaction from beating their north London rivals by a superior run rate in the final Sunday League match of the season.

Middlesex put Surrey in and saw them gallop to 264 for 4 in their 40 overs. Rain then reduced Middlesex's target to 207 in 30 overs and they finished with a spirited 193 for 9. This victory moves Surrey up into fourth place in the final table.

The match was effectively won by a brilliant third-wicket partnership of 148 in 110 balls between Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe. The Middlesex bowlers had not suffered such indignities all season.

Stewart was at his best, reaching 103 not out in 92 balls and his strokeplay and timing were a joy to watch. Thorpe, who has spent his last two winters abroad with the England A side, matched him stroke for stroke and his contribution was a joyful 84 in 65 balls.

The two Middlesex bowlers to suffer the most were Paul Weekes, whose five overs of off-breaks cost 60, and John Carr, who was hit for 31 in three overs. Only Angus Fraser and John Emburey were treated with any respect.

Middlesex were given a resounding start by Desmond Haynes, who cracked 28 in the first four overs before being caught off the leading edge as he tried to work fellow West Indian Joe Benjamin to midwicket. Mike Roseberry was lbw half-forward to Darren Bicknell and Middlesex were 52 for 2 after 12 overs when it began to rain.

In total 38 minutes were lost and they now needed another 155 in 18 overs after the resulting recalculation. Carr threw his bat valiantly, once hitting four fours in succession off Adam Hollioake, a medium-paced seamer, and towards the end Keith Brown and Emburey managed some powerful strokes. But for all that Surrey were never in serious danger of losing.