Reeve ruins the house-warming

Warwickshire 424 and 145-8 dec Durham 313 and 145Warwickshire win by 111 runs
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The Independent Online
Having been able to offer only limited assistance last season, as his side walked off with just about everything in sight, Dermot Reeve is understandably anxious to prove he is rather crucial to the Warwickshire cause after all.

Victory over Durham by 111 runs lifted the champions to the shoulder of the leaders Northamptonshire and owed much to the captain's doughty second- innings effort of 47, on a pitch which brought the batsmen - not to mention head groundsman Tom Flintoft - in a cold sweat.

The lurid tales from the Riverside Ground also tempted pitch inspector Harry Brind up north on an unofficial visit, but there will be nothing in the post for the Test and County Cricket Board. For all the fuss and the bruised fingers, only one other Championship match of the current round of fixtures went the distance.

There were many "historic" milestones at the arena Durham hope will be their passport into the lucrative Test match market before the end of the century: its first hundred, by John Morris, and Simon Brown's second- innings haul of 6 for 69, which gave him match figures of 11 for 192, both a personal and a Durham best.

Brown's career having been resurrected since moving back home from Northamptonshire four years ago, the left-arm seamer remains among the unheralded heroes of the county circuit - lauded by the locals and admired in the dressing- room, but not, it appears, by the selectors.

It was Reeve, however, whose contribution was to prove decisive. Even without the injured Allan Donald, Gladstone Small and Tim Munton, he reckons, quite rightly, to have enough bowling strength in reserve to be able to declare on 145 for 8 and set Durham 257 to win in two sessions and 20 minutes.

Eight balls in, and the hosts had already lost Wayne Larkins and their out-of-form skipper, Mike Roseberry. Reeve himself removed the last threat by capturing the aggressive Manoj Prabhakar (66) and Morris (25) to finish with 3 for 24 as Durham scrambled their way to 145.