Surrey `all-stars' sent crashing

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The Independent Online

Surrey yesterday subsided to a morale-shattering 22-run defeat by Nottinghamshire in the NatWest Trophy second round at The Oval, three days before the Benson and Hedges Cup final with Kent at Lord's.

Nottinghamshire were restricted to what looked an inadequate 176 in 55.1 overs, but after a 60-run second-wicket stand between Alec Stewart and Mark Butcher, Surrey then collapsed, Chris Tolley taking three wickets.

A side boasting 10 internationals was unable to get its head down and knock off the runs steadily. Instead, the likes of Graham Thorpe, Adam and Ben Hollioake, Alistair Brown and Chris Lewis mustered a further 71 runs for their last seven wickets.

Martin Bicknell (24) and Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq raised Surrey hopes, compiling a brave 22-run stand for the last wicket. But Kevin Evans eventually bowled Bicknell off an inside edge, and Surrey were all out for 154 in 55.5 overs.

Earlier, the visitors had threatened something similar until New Zealand Test all-rounder Nathan Astle pulled them out of trouble with a fine half- century.

Craig White, who made a dazzling 148 for Yorkshire at Grace Road on Sunday, returned to haunt Leicestershire yesterday with a carefully compiled, unbeaten 96 out of 310 for 5, helping his side to victory by 128 runs.

After Martyn Moxon (74) and Anthony McGrath had put on 66 for the first wicket, Yorkshire slipped to 83 for 3 before White and Moxon added 93. Then Bradley Parker took over with an eye-catching 69, sharing a fifth- wicket partnership of 129 in just 15 overs with White before being run out off the penultimate ball of the innings.

Darren Gough ripped the heart out of the Leicestershire top order by bowling Vince Wells off the third delivery of the innings before trapping James Whitaker lbw to leave the hosts on 14 for 3, and despite a defiant 87-run seventh-wicket partnership between Iain Sutcliffe and Tim Mason, the county champions never recovered. Richard Stemp's slow left-arm took four wickets.