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1st August 2009

Di Venuto cruises to career best

“It’s my best first class score and it’s pleasing to spend some time out there in middle, I’m very happy.  It was tough at certain periods and it was good to get through those and take advantage of some generous bowling at times.  I don’t think it’s my best innings but it’s pleasing to spend that amount of time at the crease and in those conditions.

“Anytime you bat after 100 is the best time to bat in cricket, you don’t get there too often so you have to enjoy it when you get there and make the most of it.  The bowlers were coming back for their fourth and fifth spells, they were tired so there was going to be some more loose bowling and me and Dale were lucky enough to take advantage of it”, said Di Venuto.

With only 40 minutes played before lunch due to a delayed start Di Venuto scored a blistering 105 in practically one session plus a contribution of 69 from Dale Benkenstein.  Bad light twenty minutes before the scheduled tea beak gave Durham a natural opportunity to declare on 473.  Despite some big hitting from the pair Durham were 20 short of picking up their fifth bonus point at the 120 over mark.

“Our target was first the 350 and I think that whenever the break was, around lunch, we need about three an over to reach it and the way things worked out, we got there quite quickly.  At the back of our minds there was the ‘should we have a crack; [and go for 400 to claim the fifth batting point], but there was some good bowling and if we had gone for it we could have thrown our wickets away. 

“We were looking to get 350 to start with and we got there quicker than we thought we were going to, the way the game has been over the last day and a half it hadn’t been that easy to score runs and there were some tired bowlers out there so myself and Benks managed to put a few balls away and reached our target”, Di Venuto added.

Sussex were 119-1 at the close of play on day two, with Ed Joyce having retired hurt after being hit by a Harmison delivery.

“They have played some pretty good cricket, there is plenty in the wicket and I think when it seams, it seams big which is why there has been a lot of playing and missing in the match.  They’ve managed to put the bad balls away.  We probably didn’t bowl our best that session, we’ve bowled much better throughout the year but I’ll expect that the lads will come back tomorrow and improve on that.

“There is such a long time left it in this game, who knows what will happen with the weather.  The first session tomorrow is a massive session for us to see which way this game is going to go. 

“Sussex have started well and it’s up to us to bounce back in the morning with the ball.  Our firepower is there and our bowlers are in terrific form so we need to take the opportunities when they come”, he said.