Stuart Law leads Essex resistance with a superb ton

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Essex's Australian batsman Stuart Law struck a superb 132 not out but found little support as his side battled to save the follow-on against Surrey at The Oval. At the close of the second day Essex was 265 for seven in reply to the county champions 498, an innings that featured centuries from England internationals Alex Tudor and Alec Stewart. The fact that Law, once again omitted from an Ashes tour squad, came in at 22 for two made no difference to the way he batted. His century came in quick time, off 155 balls and included 17 fours. Both Stewart and Tudor started the day in the 90s and it was the England wicket-keeper who was first to three figures. Stewart stroked a leg-stump half volley from the first ball of the day, bowled by left-armer Mark Ilott for four. It was Stewart's first century of the season but he fell soon afterwards, bowled for 106 by Ricky Anderson. In all the former England captain faced 198 balls and struck 13 fours. Tudor, who two years ago was famously left stranded on 99 not out at the end of the Edgbaston Test against New Zealand, could not go from 96 to 100 in one hit. But having reached the landmark with a steer to third man he reeled off three fine boundaries, before he holed out to Law off Ilott. The fast bowler faced 171 balls and hit one six and 16 fours in a classy innings. Yorkshire's Chris Silverwood, one of several England quick's on the county's books, gave the selectors a reminder with five for 58 as Northamptonshire was bowled out for 195 at Headingley in reply to the hosts 374. Following-on, Northamptonshire was 9-0 at the close. Little play was possible in the day's other First Division match between Glamorgan and Kent at Swansea but there was time for the Welsh county to reach 177 for eight after starting the day 42 for four in response to the visitors. In the Second Division an unbeaten 83 from Hampshire wicket-keeper Adrian Aymes helped Robin Smith's side pile up 464 against Derbyshire. At the close the hosts were 188 for four, 127 short of avoiding the follow-on, with Steve Stubbings 84 not out. At Bristol, Worcestershire captain Graeme Hick did not enforce the follow-on after his team bowled out Gloucestershire for 175 after the visitors had made 326. Veteran seamer Stuart Lampitt took five for 22 and Worcestershire closed on 21 for two in its second innings. Former England Under-19 captain Owais Shan made 58 and Paul Weekes chipped in with 50 as Middlesex reached 273 for six at Lord's. Earlier Nottinghamshire's South African batsman Kevin Pietersen extended his overnight 135 to an unbeaten 165 out of a total of 467. He faced 218 balls, including two sixes and 22 fours. At Hove, Sussex slumped to 151 for six, still 95 runs short of avoiding the follow- on against Warwickshire 295. Sussex's former Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin was caught behind for a second-ball nought. For Warwickshire Michael Powell (93) and Mark Wagh (90) both fell short of a coveted century while Sussex quick Jason Lewry kept going to take four for 101.

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