Quickfire Brown sets up record

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The Independent Online
Cricket

Dougie Brown blasted Warwickshire to a record-equalling ninth successive AXA Equity and Law League win, by four wickets over Nottinghamshire with three balls to spare at Trent Bridge.

Brown, with only one limited-over half-century to his name, hit an unbeaten 78 to enable the reigning champions to equal their own county record of nine Sunday wins set back in 1981. With Essex not playing, the win took them into second place, two points behind Kent, but with a game in hand.

Brown took only 67 balls to rattle up his score, hitting seven fours and a six. It helped Warwickshire to overcome one or two uneasy moments after Neil Smith scored 42 to give their chase of a 220- run target a flying start.

The fact that Warwickshire scraped home in the final over spoiled Paul Johnson's big day in what was his benefit match.

He had marked the occasion in an appropriate manner by hammering 82 off 77 balls, hitting three sixes and seven fours. Johnson shared a second-wicket stand of 90 in 16 overs with Tim Robinson, who made 67, but Nottinghamshire's total of 219 for 5 did not fulfil their early promise.

Worcestershire kept themselves in contention, joining Essex on 38 points, with a convincing 80-run victory over Sussex at Eastbourne.

Worcestershire posted 197 for 7 after being put in with Phil Weston compiling an enterprising 80. The hosts were never in the hunt, being dismissed for 117 with more than seven overs remaining.

Phil Newport paved the way by taking the first three wickets while Graeme Hick claimed three of the last four in 15 deliveries. Only Keith Greenfield (38) and Peter Moores (36no) managed double figures in a poor Sussex innings.

Worcestershire also made a poor start but the left-handed Weston revived them by hitting five fours and two sixes in his 92-ball innings. He shared in a fifth-wicket stand of 67 with Gavin Haynes and Steve Rhodes (31 not out) later joined him to add 68 for the eighth wicket.

Supported by a crowd of 11,000, Lancashire kept up their chase of another title with a 36-run win against Yorkshire at Old Trafford. Neil Fairbrother's unbeaten 60, off 58 balls, guided Lancashire to 210 for 7. He was supported by Jason Gallian, who hit 40, and John Crawley, who scored 35 off 45 balls.

Yorkshire's innings never recovered from Glen Chapple dismissing David Byas, Martyn Moxon and Michael Vaughan within 10 overs as Yorkshire, who had knocked Lancashire out of the NatWest Trophy earlier this month, mustered just 174 for 9.

Chapple bowled Byas for one, had Moxon caught by Crawley and then removed Vaughan lbw to finish with impressive figures of 3 for 36.

Mike Watkinson and Ian Austin took two wickets apiece to complete victory and only Richard Blakey, with an unbeaten 53 off 57 balls, took the fight to Lancashire.

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