Bangladesh battered and broken

Sussex 549-7 v Bangladesh 127 & 12-0

Sussex turned the screw on the toiling tourists yesterday as Michael Yardy continued his relentless assault on the Bangladeshi attack all the way to his maiden double hundred.

Then the South Coast bowlers Jason Lewry, Johann van der Wath and Luke Wright took over to leave Bangladesh battered, broken and bleeding in their sorry reply.

The Bangladesh captain, Habibul Bashar, required hospital treatment after a delivery from the left-armer Lewry smashed his visor with such force that it split his helmet, and opened up a nasty cut in the batsman's forehead, which resulted in him taking no further part in the visitors' calamitous first innings.

The demise of Bashar was symbolic of the tourists' batting. There is a deal of patching up that needs to be done by Bangladesh if they are to provide England with some serious resistance in the first Test at Lord's on 26 May.

The Bangladesh first innings was a capitulation. Apart from Bashar, their top scorer with 22, no one got out of the teens. Rajin Saleh was the next highest with 19 as they were whipped out a massive 273 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

At least they managed to stem the fall of wickets when they emerged second time around, still a disheartening 422 runs behind. When a second shower drove them off, Shahriar Nafees and Nafees Iqbal had survived long enough to knock a dozen runs off the first-innings deficit.

The Bangladeshis had been softened up by Yardy's relentless progress to a significant landmark. The boundary that he hit to take him to 238 lifted him clear of George Cox as the Sussex batsman with the highest individual innings against a touring side. Cox's mark of 234 had stood since the Indian tourists visited Hove in 1936.

Eventually perseverance paid off for the tourists, the Sussex man pulling to midwicket for the ball to end up in the clutches of Mohammad Ashraful after almost seven hours at the crease. In all Yardy had faced 314 balls, hitting two sixes and 35 fours on the way to his 257.

What chances he gave came only after he had passed 200, the first a possible run-out, the second a stumping, missed by Mushfiqur Rahim - the hapless wicketkeeper also missed out on a chance to stump his counterpart Tim Ambrose a couple of overs earlier, but the Sussex man was dismissed two balls later for 78.

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