Lewis sets Surrey back on course

Northamptonshire 234-9 Surrey 237 Surrey win by two wickets
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A brilliant half-century by Chris Lewis, his first in any one-day competition this summer, kept alive Surrey's dreams of a Sunday League/Championship double yesterday after a thrilling last-ball victory. It was Lewis at his best and it was not easy in fading light, falling rain and in a Surrey innings which looked all but over after two significant events.

The first was a superb hundred by David Capel, the other was an appalling caught behind decision which ended Alistair Brown's brilliant counter- attack when he was in full flow. Brown attempted to hook a Curtly Ambrose bouncer, which television replays showed he did not touch but Ambrose appealed for a catch behind and wicketkeeper Russell Warren looked more surprised than delighted when umpire Trevor Jesty raised his finger.

Brown stood for long seconds in disbelief before departing for 49 in absolute misery. Then along came Lewis and added 59 runs off 44 balls with Nadeem Shahid, who scored 41. When Lewis fell five were needed off four balls and Martin Bicknell hit the winning boundary off the last delivery.

Earlier, Surrey just could not bowl at Capel. Even Adam Hollioake took a bit of a pasting, despite picking up five wickets to help him pass a long-standing Sunday League record of most wickets in a season, the previous mark of 34, was set by Somerset's Bob Clapp (1974) and equalled eight years later by Clive Rice of Nottinghamshire. Yesterday Hollioake went one better.

Capel's 88-ball innings contained two sixes and 11 fours as he reached the third Sunday League hundred of his career. He received fine support from Mal Loye, who scored his second half-century of the summer. The Surrey fielding was a catalogue of errors. Needless runs were given away and the only bright moment was a catch of staggering brilliance from Lewis at backward point to dismiss Loye for 53.