Tue, Feb 12, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Wood’s five wickets have Windies reeling

AFP, GROS ISLET, Saint Lucia

England’s Mark Wood bowls against the West Indies on the second day of the third Test in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Mark Wood on Sunday answered West Indies pace with fearsome heat of his own as the fast bowler claimed his first five-wicket innings haul in Tests to put England in control on the second day of the third and final Test in Saint Lucia.

Playing his first match of the series, Wood tore through the heart of the home side’s batting to finish with 5-41 as the West Indies, replying to England’s first innings total of 277, crashed from 57-0 in mid-afternoon to 154 all out an hour before the close of play.

A day which saw 16 wickets tumble ended with the tourists’ opening pair of Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings safely navigating 10 overs to be 19 without loss at stumps, an overall lead of 142 going into day three as they seek the consolation of victory following heavy defeats in the first two matches.

Wood’s raw speed unsettled the West Indies middle-order batsmen after Moeen Ali ended another half-century opening partnership by accounting for stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite and partner John Campbell off consecutive deliveries.

Ali supported Wood’s hostility at the other end with subtle variations to finish with figures of 4-36.

However, it was the introduction of Wood which had the greatest impact on an eventful day.

He dismissed Shai Hope and Roston Chase off successive deliveries, both taken at gully, in his opening over and added the scalp of Shimron Hetmyer, caught at the second attempt by England captain Joe Root at first slip, off the final delivery of the afternoon session.

Darren Bravo perished shortly after the resumption to another Root slip catch and the delighted fast bowler returned after some resistance from Shane Dowrich (38) to polish off the innings and complete the five-wicket haul when he yorked last man Shannon Gabriel.

“It feels fantastic. All the hard times I’ve had with injury, and the self-doubt, today I feel like an England cricketer for the first time,” Wood said. “I feel great with this new run-up. When you get a wicket in your first over the adrenaline starts pumping.”

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