Goodwin and Yardy team up to freeze out Warwickshire

Sussex 282-6; Warwickshire
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The Independent Online

Global warming has not affected the South Coast, not judging by the chill prevailing wind, which ensured hand-numbing temperatures and sluggish progress on a slow pitch yesterday.

Global warming has not affected the South Coast, not judging by the chill prevailing wind, which ensured hand-numbing temperatures and sluggish progress on a slow pitch yesterday.

Exposure was what was called for, lengthy exposure at that, out in the middle and, thankfully, two Sussex batsmen, Murray Goodwin and Michael Yardy, obliged.

The former is a proven batsman, but this season Yardy has come through. Indeed, until yesterday, it was the normally prolific Goodwin who has struggled for consistency, and Yardy who has been full of runs.

But before the two joined forces the sparse crowd - among whom were to be found the England selector Geoff Miller and, briefly, the director of the National Academy, Rod Marsh, and the England bowling coach, Troy Cooley - had seen Richard Montgomerie fall lbw in the fourth over, then had to suffer with Ian Ward as the opener struggled to come to terms with the conditions as well as the probing Warwickshire attack. He failed and when he departed, to an excellent catch by Alex Loudon in the slips, he had scored three runs off 48 balls.

Even then things did not speed up too much, not before lunch anyway. The sun had finally taken the edge off the breeze by then, at which point Goodwin began to turn the heat up on Warwickshire.

Yardy, who had two centuries to his name already, remained prudent, not trying to force the pace, content merely to inch his way to what would have been his third hundred in four matches. Unfortunately, just as he got within hailing distance of his personal target his four-hour arctic vigil was ended by Heath Streak when the Zimbabwe fast bowler had him leg before. The partnership had realised 164 runs in 51 overs.

By then Goodwin had overtaken his partner and was already in the nineties, at which point the nerves seemed to cut in. It was the Sussex captain, Chris Adams, who took his side to their first batting point before tea intervened with Goodwin a run away from his century. He did get there shortly after the restart, clipping a delivery from his fellow countryman Streak to deep square leg for two, but Streak got his revenge a couple of overs later when Goodwin mistimed an attempted pull off a slow Neil Carter bouncer. The ball went to short extra cover and Streak held the catch.

Thereafter it was a matter of staying warm, as the temperature dropped, and hanging in there, which was something that the wicketkeeper Matt Prior and Robin Martin-Jenkins failed to do, the latter disappointingly holing out in the deep just two overs from the close.

At least the nightwatchman James Kirtley revealed some survival technique, and as long as Adams is still there, home fires will continue to ward off the cold.

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