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Cricket: RICHARD OUT TO DO HARM; He can pile on pain for KO'd Steve.

Byline: STEVE HARDY in Chittagong

NEWLYWED Richard Johnson yesterday put the heat on Steve Harmison for his place in England's Test attack this winter.

The Somerset paceman grabbed the man-of-the-match award as England thrashed Bangladesh by 329 runs in the Second Test.

Now, having already scrapped his honeymoon plans in Mauritius, Johnson may have to keep his new bride Nikki waiting longer for a settled spell of married bliss.

Skipper Michael Vaughan and coach Duncan Fletcher strongly hinted last night that Johnson could be added to England's Test squad for Sri Lanka in December.

"Richard has given us a headache," said Vaughan last night after he destroyed Bangladesh with a four-wicket salvo.

Harmison, whose nine wickets set up England's Test victory in Dhaka, returned home to Durham in midweek and is awaiting news of tests on his back.

Johnson, who married last month, was called into the squad as an 11th-hour replacement for Jimmy Anderson.

He had originally been chosen for just the one-day series in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which start in Dhaka this week.

Fletcher said that he had been given the option of expanding the Sri Lanka Test squad to include an extra spinner, but now Johnson would be considered as well.

The 28-year-old was man of the match on his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Durham after a 6-33 haul and yesterday he completed a unique double to go with his second cap.

With a lead of 463, Vaughan declared overnight asking Bangladesh to survive for two days to avoid suffering their 25th defeat in 26 Tests. The match was over within three hours.

Johnson started their demolition, having opener Hannan Sarkar brilliantly caught down the leg side by Chris Read,

Later he was to lure Alex Kapali and Khaled Mahmud into hook shots and Khaled Mashud could not get out of the way of another fast, short delivery as he nudged it through to Read.

Johnson ended the match with figures of 9-93 but he was not the only newcomer to make a big impression yesterday.

Martin Saggers produced an inch-perfect throw from long leg to run out Habibul Bashar, had Javed Omar caught by Read with a lifting delivery and just before lunch produced one of the catches of his life.

He was 15 yards inside the boundary at fine leg when Kapali middled a hook shot against Johnson. The ball appeared to be sailing over his head, but he leapt upwards and backwards to pull off a stunning one-handed effort.

Bangladesh were bowled out for 138 and England, as expected, took the series 2-0.


RICH PICKINGS: Johnson bowling England to an easy Test victory
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2003
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