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Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 19:53 GMT 20:53 UK
Croft praises 'special' Brown
Glamorgan's Robert Croft
Robert Croft scored at a faster rate than Brown
Glamorgan skipper Robert Croft paid tribute to Ali Brown after watching the Surrey opener dismantle his bowling attack on Wednesday.

Brown's 268, which included 12 sixes and 30 fours, took just 160 balls and catapulted him into the record books.


His innings at the Oval surpassed the 222 not out that South African great Graeme Pollock scored for Eastern Province against Border in 1974.

"The way that Ali Brown struck the ball today is something I guarantee you that the people who were here today will never see again," Croft said.


I'd rather lose by 300 runs having given it a go
Robert Croft

"It was such clean striking and I'm pleased it took something pretty special to beat my side."

Croft was in charge only because regular captain Steve James was at the hospital bedside of his sick daughter.

Things started badly for the England spinner as he watched wicket-keeper Mark Wallace drop Brown - off an admittedly very sharp chance - then saw his bowlers pummelled to all sides of the ground.


On the way to his record score, Brown helped create another world record - albeit an unwanted one - for Darren Thomas, whose three for 108 represents the worst nine-over spell in world limited-overs history.

Yet when it was the visitors' turn to bat Croft led an inspired fightback that saw Glamorgan fall just nine runs short of Surrey's huge 438 total.

"It was disappointing to lose but I'm very proud of every one of the lads," Croft added.

"We were staring down the barrel of a rather large gun at half-time but the spirit and heart those guys showed... they really played for the badge today."

Surrey opener Ali Brown
Ali Brown's display brought him a new world record

Croft, opening the Glamorgan reply in a pinch-hitting role, actually scored at a faster rate than Brown, using just 69 balls to reach his 119 before Ian Ward caught him off the bowling of Surrey skipper Adam Hollioake.

But Glamorgan followed their skipper's lead, especially David Hemp - who hit his first century since rejoining the Welsh county - and Thomas, who made amends for his bowling by hitting 71 off 41 balls.

On a day of records - Surrey's total was also a new world record, as was the aggregate match score - Croft struck the fastest century ever by a Glamorgan player.

"There wasn't actually a heck of a lot of pressure facing a total like that," Croft said. "I just said to the boys before going out there, plain and simple, 'Smash it!'

"I'm not a cricketer who wants to lose by 100 runs - I'd rather lose by 300 runs having given it a go."

Brown was full of admiration for the way Glamorgan went about chasing Surrey's score, although it ultimately proved futile.

"I thought we had a big score there and we've been run very close, so it's good to get it over and done with and be in the next round," Brown said.

"It was a good wicket and the margin for error (for the bowlers) was small so we took advantage of that and posted what we thought was a decent total.

"But I think the next time we play Glamorgan we'll have to look again at what a decent total is."

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 ON THIS STORY
Glamorgan skipper Robert Croft
"We were staring down the barrel"
Surrey opener Ali Brown
"That was quite a nerve-wracking 99 overs"
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