Alistair Brown outperformed England trio Alec Stewart, Graham Thorpe and Ian Ward with an anchorman century in the Benson and Hedges Cup quarter-final against Sussex at Hove.

Brown batted through the innings to guide Surrey to a 50-overs total of 239 for seven, but powerfully poised at 125 for one just before halfway, the reigning county champions should really have scored more in first class batting conditions.

The Sussex bowlers fought hard to deny Surrey a sustained assault in the later stages, especially off-spinner Mark Davis, to keep the target within their sights.

Brown, though, was involved in three crucial run-outs, and the one of his captain, Adam Hollioake, was certainly avoidable.

Brown (108 not out) reached his hundred in 139 balls (eight fours), but one of the country's strongest limited-overs hitters did not strike a boundary in the last 20 overs of the innings.

Stewart went lbw first ball to Robin Martin-Jenkins, but Mark Ramprakash (53) settled in with Brown to give Surrey the initiative with a stand of 125 in 24 overs.

Ramprakash, though, could hardly believe his luck when a big leg-slide hit off Mark Robinson held up in the stiff breeze and Will House claimed the skier right on the square leg boundary.

Instead of six, it was out for Ramprakash and none of Brown's subsequent partners really got going.

Ward fell to cricket's cruellest dismissal when Brown's drive was deflected on to the stumps by Robinson and was run-out.

Then Brown should have gone for a third run and left Hollioake stranded, and later Hollioake's younger brother Ben was also run out.

Thorpe, the batting star of Lord's, made only 11, chipping a simple catch to mid-wicket, and Surrey's entire team of England internationals had to be grateful to Brown's diligent effort.