England’s Mark Wood hoping to hit top gear in time for World Cup

Published September 24, 2022
<p>Mark Wood’s searing pace undid the Pakistani top order yesterday. — Reuters/file</p>

Mark Wood’s searing pace undid the Pakistani top order yesterday. — Reuters/file

England bowler Mark Wood said he is hopeful he can return to full fitness and hit his peak “at the right time” ahead of this year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

Wood, who missed the entire English summer due to an elbow injury, marked his return to international cricket with three wickets in England’s 63-run win over Pakistan in Karachi on Friday.

“My body feels OK,” Wood told Sky Sports after the win. “I’ll probably live on an ice machine now…

“What’s important for me is that I don’t want to go too hard now and then I’m not ready for Australia. I’ve got to peak at the right time, and then when it comes to that World Cup, I’m fit and firing.

“I’m just a little bit tired. It’s my first game in a while but actually I felt pretty good leading into it. I’ve done loads of time in the gym, lots of running, but nothing is the same as playing a game.”

England, who took a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series with the win, will next face Pakistan on Sunday as both sides continue preparations for the Oct. 16-Nov. 13 T20 World Cup.

Set a mammoth 222 for victory, Pakistan were rocked early by the searing pace of Wood (3-24) when he removed Babar Azam (8) and Haider Ali (3) to leave the hosts wobbling on 28-4.

Shan Masood (65 not out) briefly resurrected the chase with a fighting half-century but the total proved well out of reach for Pakistan, who had demolished England by 10 wickets 24 hours earlier.

After England were put in to bat, Brook (81) and Duckett (70) smashed their maiden T20 fifties and shared an unbeaten 139-run stand for the fourth wicket to help England post 221-3 after debutant Will Jacks (40) had given them a fine start.

Leg-spinner Usman Qadir (2-48) removed Jacks and Dawid Malan (14) in quick succession before Duckett and Brook made full use of a flat batting wicket and tore into the Pakistan attack with some sublime strokeplay.

Brook was especially impressive as he hit five sixes while Duckett used the sweep shot to devastating effect, helping himself to eight fours and a six during his 42-ball knock.

The teams will play the fourth game at the same venue tomorrow.

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