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Rejuventated Wood claims five for 41 on his comeback


Blistering pace: Mark Wood
Blistering pace: Mark Wood

By Rory Dollard

Mark Wood ended England's long wait for a bowler capable of blistering pace, breaching 94mph during an exhilarating career-best haul on day two of the third West Indies Test.

Wood was a bowler reborn on his Test comeback, regularly hitting breakneck speeds as he claimed five for 41 and had the home batsmen running for cover for the first time this series.

The 29-year-old did the heavy lifting as England bowled the Windies out for 154 and ended their best day of a torrid tour 142 ahead with Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns reaching 19 without loss.

Recalling the velocity and hostility of fellow Ashington boy Steve Harmison, whose career-best seven for 12 came in Jamaica 15 years ago, Wood finally proved he can be the man to bring true venom to the English attack.

The Durham seamer's first 12 Tests, the last of which came nine months ago, brought 30 wickets at a modest average of 41.73, but over the course of 8.2 beguiling overs he began a new chapter that could propel him into a starring role in the summer's World Cup/Ashes double header.

Fresh from reducing England to 277 all out, the West Indies innings began with a familiar template, John Campbell swinging from the hip and Kraigg Brathwaite dropping anchor.

For 18 overs it worked perfectly, with Campbell scoring 41 in a stand worth 57.

It was beginning to look like another demoralising day for England until spinner Moeen Ali struck with successive deliveries.

Brathwaite started the rot, shelving his trademark watchfulness and hoisting carelessly to deep midwicket. Campbell crossed while the shot was airborne and immediately fell lbw for 41.

After 21 overs patrolling the outfield it was time for Wood, coming in off a lengthened run-up after a technical tweak this winter. His first ball was brisk, his fourth England's fastest of the series and his fifth whizzed to Rory Burns at gully having rattled Shai Hope's edge at 92mph.

England (277 & 19-0) lead West Indies (154) by 142 runs

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