Bevan's majestic 173 steers Sussex to top

At precisely 11.51am yesterday Michael Bevan became the first batsman to reach 1,000 runs this summer; at 1.58pm the ball left Bevan's bat for the last boundary and rolled over the rope at long on for the 21st time in his stunning, unbeaten innings, and in one bound Sussex had leaped from fifth to top of the Second Division in the County Championship.

At precisely 11.51am yesterday Michael Bevan became the first batsman to reach 1,000 runs this summer; at 1.58pm the ball left Bevan's bat for the last boundary and rolled over the rope at long on for the 21st time in his stunning, unbeaten innings, and in one bound Sussex had leaped from fifth to top of the Second Division in the County Championship.

"I was actually trying to finish things off with a six," admitted Bevan afterwards. If the ball had cleared the boundary it would have taken the New South Wales batsman to his highest score for Sussex, as it was his 173 not out was one short of the mark he set last week.

The statistics tumbled with his majestic display: it was his fourth century in five Championship innings; all of those centuries have been greater than 150; it was the 47th of his career (19 now have been unbeaten); it was his 15th in the Championship (seven for Yorkshire, eight for Sussex) and in all he has passed 50 on 109 occasions in 300 first-class innings. Sadly, Sussex have to manage without this batting colossus for the next three weeks as he returns home tomorrow for Australia's inaugural indoor one-day series against South Africa in Melbourne.

At least he leaves Sussex in fine fettle. "We owe a lot to this one man. He is a class act. That is the best knock I have seen him play," their captain, Chris Adams, said. "The challenge now is for us to carry on in similar fashion while he is away. Our goal this season was to get out of the Second Division." Bevan has ensured they remain on target for that.

However, even the best batsman needs a partner and the nightwatchman James Kirtley did his bit. Having taken nine wickets in the match, he then proved he has what it takes to stick around with the bat. Kirtley followed up his first innings 21 with an unbeaten 26 and in all spent more than four hours at the crease. It underlined what Adams feels about his team. "The commitment and work ethic has beensuperb, we should not have to ask for more, but we have had to and they have responded magnificently."

Middlesex were still in with a shout when play resumed with Sussex still needing a further 150 runs. Home hopes rested on Phil Tufnell's ability, but sadly the bounce and turn of the previous evening was not in evidence and instead Bevan took charge and gave a masterful display.

He only let his hair down when he was certain Middlesex heads were lowered, then came three sixes and a fistful of firmly driven, cut and pulled boundaries.

Middlesex left the Walker Ground after their sixth match here still winless, the record now reading three draws and three defeats and a place at the foot of the table.

Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen