x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Yardy's a winner as a spinner

Michael Yardy is still thankful for the day when he made perhaps the best decision of his life - to abandon his medium-pace efforts and turn himself into a spinner.

Michael Yardy is still thankful for the day when he made perhaps the best decision of his life - to abandon his medium-pace efforts and turn himself into a spinner. The Sussex captain took two more wickets on Thursday as England completed an unbeaten World Twenty20 warm-up campaign with a five-wicket win over South Africa at Kensington Oval in Barbados Yardy has taken five for 45 in two games, putting himself in the frame as a near-certain ever-present second spinner once the tournament proper gets under way for England early next week.

Yet when he began his first-class career, Yardy - still a frontline all-rounder in English county cricket - was a batsman who bowled seam as a second string to his bow. How his fortunes have changed since he decided to switch. "I just changed, because my seam wasn't working," he said. "I thought I'd try something that was a little bit less heavy on the legs. But I've really enjoyed bowling spin, especially in one-day and Twenty20 cricket."

Despite England's promising form (they also beat Bangladesh on Wednesday), Yardy says the team are not getting over confident ahead of their Group D games against Ireland and the West Indies. "My goal here is to come out and play it game by game, and I'm really happy with the way it's gone," he said. "Obviously, these are warm-up games. But it's great for the team and me to get off to a positive start with two wins against two decent teams. It means we start the tournament full of confidence."

* PA Sport