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Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 18:21 UK

Centurions help Northants recover

CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY TWO: Surrey 376 Northants 331-4
(Surrey 5pts, Northants 6pts)
9-12 September 2009

Niall O'Brien
O'Brien's 128 was his first Championship century of the season

Niall O'Brien and Riki Wessels both hit centuries as Northants ended day two at The Oval 45 runs behind Surrey with six first-innings wickets left.

Surrey had begun the day on 305-5 but, despite Chris Schofield's 57, lost their last five wickets for 56 to be bowled out for 376.

Jade Dernbach then took two wickets in two balls to leave Northants 28-2.

But O'Brien (128) and Wessels (109) put on 159 for the third wicket, before Rob White (63no) helped them to 331-4.

They were contrasting efforts from the two Northants centurions, who had come together after Dernbach had Stephen Peters caught by a tumbling Matt Spriegel and then removed Alex Wakely's off-stump.

O'Brien's 128 was made off 181 balls, including 17 fours and a six, during a near four-hour stay at the crease, while Wessels was much more cavalier, bringing up his first century of the season off 94 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes.

Their stand was broken when Wessels ran himself out going for a risky second after sweeping Chris Schofield to Rengana Herath at long-leg.

But O'Brien and White then added a further 117 for the fourth wicket before the Irish opener edged Schofield to Surrey captain Stewart Walters at slip.

Surrey had earlier lost first-day centurion Jon Batty in the fourth over of the day when he drove Johannes van der Wath to Peters at cover without adding to his overnight 110.

Nicky Boje then removed Alex Tudor and Herath, before Schofield lost his middle stump trying to slog Andrew Hall, who then polished off the innings by trapping Dernbach leg before.

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