Tenacious Surrey share spoils

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The Independent Online
reports from The Oval

Glamorgan 450 and 329 Surrey 391-9 and 302-9 Match drawn

In the beginning the word was improbable. Surrey had been asked by the Glamorgan captain, Hugh Morris, to create their first Championship victory for more than a month by scoring the highest fourth-innings total - 383 runs - in their Championship history in order to win an absorbing contest. The end was impossibly tense.

Graham Kersey emerged as the unlikely hero for Surrey, holding out for a gutsy 75 minutes and helping Carl Rackemann to negotiate 17 angst- ridden deliveries at the death.

It was nerve-racking stuff and yet it could all have been so different after the start given them by openers Darren Bicknell and Jason Ratcliffe, who put on 137 for the first wicket. When the prodigious batting talent of Alistair Brown was added to the equation in mid-afternoon, the complexion of the Surrey innings took on a rosy hue.

Brown spent a cautious 55 balls to 14 and then let rip. In the next 14 deliveries, he blasted 37 runs, including two sixes and three fours, to pass 50 for only the third time this summer. It was explosive stuff, and suddenly an unlikely victory beckoned.

Glamorgan had lost the fielding talents of Anthony Cottey after he took the full force of a Bicknell drive on his right leg when at silly point, but the field was still ringed by a fence of sharp Glamorgan fielders and there was always the feeling that the rampaging Brown would get caught up in it and he did, eight short of what would have been a stunning century.

Appropriately, he fell victim to the game's other hero, off-spinner Robert Croft, who bowled unchanged for 40 overs from the Pavilion End before sending down one more from the Vauxhall End. His return of three for 94 was impressive. After that it was a matter of hanging on, which Kersey and Rackemann, who thought he was wanted for his bowling, ultimately managed.

n Nottinghamshire pulled off an astonishing three-wicket victory over Kent. Set a target of 330 in what proved to be just 51 overs, they scraped home with three balls to spare. Tim Robinson hit 88 to launch Nottinghamshire on their run chase, hitting six sixes in his 97-ball innings and sharing an opening stand of 164 with Paul Pollard.