Pearson provokes late Essex collapse

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Essex slumped into trouble against Surrey at Southend as they lost three wickets in the final six overs after Graham Gooch and Paul Grayson had opened with century stand.

Grayson, having made 62 out of a partnership of 131, was snapped up round the corner by Alec Stewart off Richard Pearson who then bowled Ashley Cowan, the nightwatchman. Darren Bicknell then struck in the final over when he had Nasser Hussain caught at silly mid-off for nought.

That left Essex 134 for 3 and relying heavily on Gooch, unbeaten on 46, if they are to reach the 327 needed to avoid being asked to follow on.

Surrey, who resumed at 345 for 3, spent a further 47 overs in carrying their total to 476 for 8 before Stewart declared.

Graham Thorpe added only six to his overnight score before being bowled by Peter Such for 143, but Adam Hollioake collected his third century of the summer. He finally went for 128, caught off a mistimed pull against Cowan, after an innings which brought him 17 boundaries and spanned 340 minutes.

Hollioake and Thorpe, whose innings included 14 fours and a six, put on 201 for the fourth wicket.

The biggest stand of the match, 70, between John Morris and Stewart Hutton put Durham in a strong position against Gloucestershire at Chester-le- Street. With only 54 overs bowled because of rain yesterday Durham raised hopes of their first Championship win of the season by reaching 92 for 1 in their second innings - a lead of 101.

Melvyn Betts recorded career-best figures for the fourth time this season, taking his tally of wickets to 31 by finishing with 5 for 68 as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 166.

Betts and Simon Brown, who now has 40 wickets, bowled unchanged for 20 overs to polish off Gloucestershire after they had resumed on 90 for 5.

India resisted the temptation of trying to force a victory against British Universities by batting right through the final day of the game at Fenner's. Rahul Dravid took the opportunity to score his first century of the tour with a six and 13 fours in his unbeaten 101 as the students used eight bowlers.

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