Yardy fills his boots

Sussex 412-3 v Bangladesh
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The Independent Online

Considering that the ambient temperature when they left Dhaka was a broiling 36C, the Bangladeshis did reasonably well in this, their second warm-up match, in what must have felt like arctic conditions.

Considering that the ambient temperature when they left Dhaka was a broiling 36C, the Bangladeshis did reasonably well in this, their second warm-up match, in what must have felt like arctic conditions.

Their first ever Test match against England at Lord's is now just 10 days away and Habibul Bashar and his men need to accelerate their acclimatisation, because yesterday's action was little less than a slaughter, against a county side without three senior batsmen - the captain Chris Adams, Ian Ward and Murray Goodwin.

The Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore had suggested last week, when the tourists were making their way to a chilly draw against British Universities at Fenner's, that they needed time out in the middle.

He was referring to his batsmen, but on this evidence his bowlers need to come to terms with English pitches. This one looked to have a degree of pace in it, and judging by the way Michael Yardy cruised to his maiden 150, there was also plenty of pace off it.

The tourists used their main strike bowlers, Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain, in short sharp bursts, but it did not hide them from the left-handed Yardy's broad bat. Their figures bore witness.

Shahadat, who has yet to make his Test debut, certainly looked quick, especially with the second new ball, and in comparison with his team-mates his figures were relatively respectable. But he still conceded more than 50 runs. Mortaza was also wicketless, and he conceded 80. The slow left-armer Enamul Haque Jnr, bore the brunt of the punishment with 126 runs coming off his 27 overs.

It was in stark contrast to his second-innings heroics against Zimbabwe in January, when he weighed in with six wickets as Bangladesh recorded their first and to date only victory at Test level.

Yardy's third hundred of the season spanned five hours at the crease without a chance in the 233 balls faced. Each of his 27 boundaries were along the ground.

In partnership with Carl Hopkinson, when they added 133 for the second wicket, Yardy helped the latter reach his maiden first-class fifty. The acting captain Matt Prior also reached fifty, but it was left to Yardy to show everyone how to fill their boots.

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