Cricket: Crawley charges past 1,000 runs

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The Independent Online
Lancashire 380-9 v Warwickshire

AS England's upper order failed, with one honourable exception, John Crawley yesterday strengthened his prospects by becoming the first non-Test batsman to reach 1,000 first-class runs this summer.

Crawley followed Brian Lara and Graham Gooch to the target by playing the 10th three-figure innings of his career, which also includes two double centuries, against Eastern Province for England A last December and off Somerset's attack at Southport a month ago.

Doubtless, Lara himself would have been impressed, but having consulted a specialist about a knee injury, a minor ligament problem was diagnosed, together with a prescription for 'rest and rehabilitation' over the next five days. Lara will also miss Sunday's match but is expected to return for the NatWest Trophy game at Leicester next Wednesday.

Warwickshire were just relieved that Lara will not require an operation, but while he was absent yesterday, consulting a physiotherapist, Lancashire relished their run plunder, featuring a partnership of 164 in 42 overs between Crawley and Neil Fairbrother. Graeme Welch, a medium-pace bowler, ended their cosy notions by dismissing Nick Speak, Crawley and Wasim Akram for four runs, all no balls, off 19 deliveries.

Welch, who made his first- class debut earlier this season in his sixth summer on the staff, also had an impressive list of conquests, Rob Bailey, Allan Lamb and Mal Loye, at Northampton last week.

The dry pitch was far less innocuous than Lancashire's total of 274 for 3 soon after tea suggested. It offered bounce and probably increasing turn, likely to be appreciated by Mike Watkinson and Gary Yates.

On that basis, Lancashire tucked away a formidable total as they attempt to terminate Warwickshire's remarkable unbeaten run, spanning 18 first-class and one-day matches this summer.