Yardy strikes an emotional ton on day two

Mike Yardy
Mike Yardy

SUSSEX batsman Mike Yardy made an emotional hundred in what is likely to be his final innings at Hove before retirement on a rain-affected second day of the crucial LV County Championship match against Somerset.

The 34-year-old left-hander lodged the 23rd first-class century of his career as Sussex compiled 409 and claimed maximum batting points, their first target in a game vital to both sides’ hopes of avoiding relegation from Division One.

But Somerset responded positively, reaching 114 for 2 from 25.4 overs before rain, which had delayed the start for 90 minutes, returned and took a further 26 overs off the day’s allocation.

With a terrible forecast for the third day, Yardy probably knew he might be batting for the last time in front of his home crowd and he made the most of it, speeding to his hundred with a flurry of boundaries, the pick of them an extra cover drive and push down the ground off successive balls from Jamie Overton which took him into the 90s.

Another punch through the covers, this time off Tim Groenewald took him to 98 and he reached his century with a leg glance off the same bowler. The entire Somerset team joined in the applause as the Hove crowd gave Yardy a standing ovation.

They were on their feet again moments later when he was caught at long leg off Trego for 104, made off 165 balls with 17 fours.

Yardy had earlier added 137 in 32 overs with Ashar Zaidi, although Zaidi could only add a single to his overnight score of 90 when he was pinned in front by Overton’s first ball of the day.

After Yardy went with the score on 359 it was left to Chris Jordan to ensure Sussex got maximum batting points and he achieved it in style, flat-batting Groenewald for a wind-assisted six over long leg in the 101st over.

Jordan, celebrating his recall into the England squad for the T20 series against Pakistan later this year, was last out for 42, caught by wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi off a huge top edge. Trego and Overton both finished with three wickets but it was hard work for seam bowlers on a flat pitch as the Sussex attack soon discovered.

Jordan did get opener Tom Abell in the eighth over for 13, courtesy of a big inside edge onto his off stump, but Trescothick and Tom Cooper took the score to 82 either side of tea with few problems when Steve Magoffin won an lbw verdict against Cooper (31) with a ball that kept a shade low.

Trescothick passed 1,000 Championship runs for the summer at 19 and then reached his 118th first-class half-century, from 75 balls with eight fours, shortly before the rain return. Umpires Ian Gould and Alex Wharf abandoned play shortly after 5pm.