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CRICKET: Battling Batty holds up County.

A BATTLING century from captain Jonathan Batty left Surrey's game against Frizzell County Championship leaders Warwickshire in the balance after three days at Guildford.

Batty made 145 before being leg before in the last over of the day, and Ali Brown hit 103 as Surrey closed on 363 for seven - a lead of 157 with a day to go.

If Batty's 257-ball vigil had not been ended by Dewald Pretorius, Surrey would have fancied their chances of forcing victory on a wearing fourth- day pitch.

Warwickshire captain Nick Knight enforced the follow-on after Surrey were dismissed for 331, a deficit of 206 and saw Pretorius and Dougie Brown reduce the hosts to 24 for three before Batty and Brown shared a stand of 200 for the fourth wicket.

It was the first time Surrey had been asked to bat again at Guildford since they were beaten by Worcestershire 25 years ago.

Batty's century, which he reached from 165 balls with 17 fours, was his third of the season and ninth in his first-class career.

Brown's 103 came from 130 balls with 16 fours and a six but he was out immediately after he had brought up his century with a sublime on-drive. He tried to repeat the shot off Naqqash Tahir and was caught behind by Tony Frost.

The crucial wicket for Warwickshire seemed to be Mark Ramprakash, who made an unbeaten 145 in the first innings and had looked a class above anything else Surrey had to offer with the bat.

But he was pinned in front by the willing Pretorius for a single and Surrey were up against it but Batty and Brown took up the challenge posed by some accurate Warwickshire bowling. Azhar Mahmood made 14 but having guided the ball through the slips for a couple of boundaries he feathered one from Tahir to the keeper.

The 20-year-old bowled a good spell between lunch and tea, swinging the ball away from the bat at pace, and looks a good prospect.

When Adam Hollioake was sixth out for nine, Tim Murtagh supported Batty in a stand of 94, making 47 not out.

Earlier Warwickshire wrapped up Surrey's first innings with Tahir taking his fourth wicket when he had Nayan Doshi caught at slip by Ian Bell. Each of Tahir's four wickets were taken in the first over of a spell and he produced a good one to end Doshi's determined knock.

The number 11 faced 41 balls for his 22, more deliveries than any other Surrey batsman bar Ramprakash.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 24, 2004
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