Match made by Moores

Surrey 411 and 304-6 dec Sussex 265 and 315 Surrey won by 135 runs
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The Independent Online
Surrey dominated the last day and indeed this festival match, in spite of a restorative eight-wicket tally for Paul Jarvis, thanks largely to the peerless batting of Graham Thorpe. But the stubborn Bill Athey and, above all, an enterprising Championship-best century by Peter Moores, at least held out hope for a large chunk of yesterday that Sussex could hang on for draw points, and ensured a generous ration of entertainment for the sun-bathed crowd.

When they declared on Friday, Surrey's match aggregate stood at 715, but Guildford is among the smallest of first-class grounds, the outfield was shaved, and the wicket remained flat. A team faced with 391 to win on the last day, with nine wickets in hand, could at least gaze at this Everest of runs in positive mood, and, in Athey, Sussex had a man who enjoys frustrating the opposition.

But by lunch Sussex were five wickets down and seemed to have nowhere to go. The off-spinner Richard Pearson (available to Guildford), was using the wicket impressively. The visitors position was to feed Popeye's spinach to Moores, who was then engaged in his face-saving partnership with Athey. Although left-armer Brendon Julian had produced one of his most determined spells of the season in the morning, finding genuine pace and variety, Moores left the canteen to clatter him for 26 in two overs. The tall Australian, less than gruntled, wandered off into the outfield, his day complete.

Athey had a 45-over start over Moores, but the lower-order man was first past 50. The 164-run partnership ended in bathos when Athey scuttled a pad at the spinner Darren Bicknell, still full of his career-best three for 7 in the first innings, and watched the ball dribble on to the stumps.

Finishing with a match analysis of six for 48, the "non- bowling" Bicknell will now expect his fair share of the skipper Alec Stewart's consideration.

Surrey had taken to the field with their 12th man, Joey Benjamin, and a 13th, their coach Dave Gilbert. Alistair Brown has flu and Chris Lewis, no stranger to treatment, collided with Jarvis on Friday and opted to spend the day in a precautionary horizontal position.

After Athey's dismissal and two silly run-outs before tea, Surrey were firmly back in control in spite of Moores, who surpassed his 116 against Somerset in 1989 just before Ed Giddins gave Darren Bicknell his final triumph.

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