Trent Bridge welcomes Yardy

Lv County Championship
Michael Yardy

Michael Yardy returned to the Sussex side with a century on day one against Notts

Michael Yardy returned to the scene of his successful one-day international debut to make a hundred for Sussex as they closed in on the Liverpool Victoria County Championship title.

Yardy made 119 of Sussex’s 420 for five on day one at Trent Bridge, in pursuit of the victory over Nottinghamshire which would see off their only remaining championship rivals Lancashire.

It was still fresh in the left-hander’s memory that he played his part with the ball as England fought their way back into the NatWest Series against Pakistan on this same ground less than two weeks ago.

But with Sussex’s second title in four years tantalisingly close now, he was determined to make a worthy contribution.

“Whenever you’ve done well at a ground, you always come back with a good feeling,” he said.

“But I’ve been away [from Sussex’s title bid] for a few weeks, and the guys have got some brilliant results - so you don’t just want to come in; you want to make sure you chip in.”

Yardy did a little more than that, hitting 16 fours in his ninth first-class hundred after coming in at five for one in the third over of the match.

It was in his guise as an economical slow left-armer that he had served England so well earlier this month - but that performance still helped his confidence today. “I’d played here a few times before, but it wouldn’t necessarily have been one of my favourite Test venues,” he said.

“After I did really well in the one-day international here, I think it’s brilliant. I really love it. It’s a great ground to play on.”

Sussex’s cause was helped by three other major innings - from Yardy’s second and third-wicket partners Richard Montgomerie (82) and Murray Goodwin (99), as well as captain Chris Adams (72).

Yardy noted that Lancashire remain in with a chance of full batting bonus points in their match at Hampshire - but he was nonetheless delighted with the start Sussex have made.

“If we’d woken up in the morning and someone had given us this we’d have bitten their hand off,” he said.

The number three admitted modestly he did not always find the going easy - against the new-ball bowling of Ryan Sidebottom in particular - and he paid tribute to opener Montgomerie, who helped him add 144 in 40 overs.

“I made it hard work. I kept playing and missing. But they bowled really well. I was a bit lucky, and they were unlucky,” he said.

“Monty played brilliantly.”