Essex teenager stars against Sri Lanka

Aaron Beard

Aaron Beard was making his first-class debut for Essex

Teenage debutant Aaron Beard claimed four wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 254 by Essex at Chelmsford on the first day of their tour of England.

Right-arm seamer Beard, 18, took 4-62 as only Kusal Mendis (66) and Niroshan Dickwella (53) passed 30 for Sri Lanka.

Jaik Mickleburgh (42 not out) then added 78 with fellow opener Nick Browne who was lbw to Dhammika Prasad for 28 as Essex reached 81-2 by the close.

Sri Lanka’s first Test against England begins at Headingley on 19 May.

Right-armer Beard, making his first-class debut, had only signed his first professional contract last summer, but was in the national spotlight back in 2013.

As a 15-year-old schoolboy, he fielded as substitute for Essex against England in a warm-up game before the summer’s Ashes – and was then asked to act as 12th man for England, carrying the drinks for the national side.

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