Love joins elite as Durham canter home

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The Independent Online

Martin Love completed 1,000 County Championship runs in his first English campaign during Durham's seven-wicket win against Worcestershire at Kidderminster yesterday.

The 27-year-old Australian made 58 from 61 balls to help his side to a target of 115 soon after lunch on the final day. Denied a three-day wrap-up by the loss of 48 overs because of rain on Saturday, Durham had a first-over scare when Andy Bichel took his 50th championship wicket of the summer.

This brought in Love announced his arrival with a trademark clip off the legs for his first four, but there was an edge over the slips before a back-foot steer took him to the 1,000-run milestone in his 21st innings.

The opener Jimmy Daley played a more conservative role in a partnership of 80 and came perilously close to an early dismissal when a nick off Bichel failed to carry to Graeme Hick at second slip. The hard-working Bichel kept going for 75 minutes until he was rested with figures of 1 for 40 in nine overs.

Love had struck nine fours when posting a run-a-ball half-century in 77 minutes, and two more fours put him on 58 when he flashed at a delivery from Lampitt to be caught by Phillip Weston in the gully. Daley's patient knock of 38 ended with an lbw verdict in the first over from the left-arm spinner Matt Rawnsley and, despite three fours by Paul Collingwood, Durham were two runs short when going to lunch at 113 for 3, the match ending almost immediately after the interval.

Robin Martin-Jenkins took a season's best 4 for 18 as Sussex reclaimed top spot in the Second Division after beating previously undefeated promotion rivals Middlesex by 192 runs.

The visitors, set a target of 354 on a fine Hove pitch, were dismissed for just 161 with Martin-Jenkins being well supported by the experienced Mark Robinson who returned figures 4 for 34.

Martin-Jenkins's victims included opener Mike Roseberry (11) and Robin Weston (4) and Sussex now look forward to facing Australia in a three-day match on Wednesday having won six of their last eight championship games. Only opener Andrew Strauss (51) and acting captain Paul Weekes (41) offered any resistance in a poor Middlesex response.

The off-spinner Weekes earlier took 4 for 25 in 5.5 overs as Sussex batted on to add 70 runs before declaring on 210 for 7.

* Yorkshire have announced that the club president Robin Smith will open the controversial West Stand development after John Major pulled out. The club's general committee had "agreed unanimously" to invite Smith to perform the task on 15 August.

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