Thorpe is the master

CRICKETSurrey192-5Warwickshire145Surrey win by 47 runs
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The Independent Online
Losing this opening match is far from catastrophic for Warwickshire, the reigning AXA Equity & Law league champions. The multiple injury factor brings far more concern with Dermot Reeve, their captain, already adding to the list.

He suffered from a back spasm, underwent manipulative treatment and was unable to bat when a Warwickshire cause, already wilting in the afternoon sun, was lost.

With Allan Donald resting a foot injury in readiness for his attempt to blast out Surrey in today's Championship match and Reeve tumbling to the ground in pain, clutching his back as he reached delivery stride, Warwickshire are in a dilemma.

Tim Munton, their vice-captain and last season's leading wicket-taker who had surgery on a prolapsed disc last February, played in a club game yesterday.

It furthered his quest to return for Warwickshire in a second team match starting at Coventry next Monday. Add a similar but less serious injury to Nick Knight, the county's recruit from Essex, and Warwickshire are suddenly sifting their resources.

Warwickshire's depletion should not detract from an insistent Surrey performance. It featured Graham Thorpe's innings of 60 from 80 balls and Adam Hollioake's 54 not out off 60 balls, which preceded his 4 for 22.

Hollioake shared the crucial fifth-wicket partnership of 105 in 22 overs with Thorpe on a previously used pitch yielding runs grudgingly, as if it had offered a full quota for the summer. Working the ball around, as a single boundary in Thorpe's top scoring innings illustrates, was a better means of accumulation than a foolhardy commitment to lavish stroke-play.

Hollioake had previously taken 33 wickets at almost 34 runs each but with Warwickshire musing over a possible thrash at Nadeem Shahid, the leg-spinner, Hollioake, an Australian-born seam bowler, dismissed Moles, Trevor Penney, Michael Burns and Gladstone Small.

Warwickshire had needed 67 from the final nine overs and even if most hearts felt the triple champions might impose themselves, heads ruled. Surrey duly won and deserved to do so.