• Wood’s fifer puts England on top

    Mark Wood marked his return to the England Test team with a brilliant maiden fifer to give the visitors the lead in the final match of the series and earns Sunday’s Turbo Bowler award, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.

    Wood’s inclusion in England’s starting XI proved an inspired move after he picked up a sensational career-best figures of 5-41 in West Indies’ first innings of the third Test to put his team in command of the dead-rubber at the Daren Sammy National Stadium in St Lucia.

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    England had already lost the series after the West Indies took an unassailable lead by winning the first two Tests, but none of the fight was absent after Jos Buttler (67 off 127 balls, 9×4) and Ben Stokes (79 off 175 balls, 8×4) helped the Pommies post an impressive 277 all out after being inserted into bat first on a tricky pitch.

    The Windies enjoyed a decent start with the bat, thanks to a resilient 57-run opening partnership between stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite (12) and John Campbell (41 off 63 balls, 3×4, 1×6), but Moeen Ali (4-36 in 15 overs) soon brought that assault an end to by dismissing the pair.

    Wood soon pocketed the wickets of Shai Hope and Roston Chase with consecutive balls during the 22nd over to mark his return to the international stage with a double-wicket maiden in his first over.

    READ ALSO: Brathwaite to captain Windies for final Test

    England’s strike bowler continued his onslaught against the home team by sending the exciting Shimron Hetmyer (8) and the experienced Darren Bravo (6) back to the pavilion in quick succession.

    Wood wasn’t done there though, as he returned to close the home team’s innings on 154 runs from just 47.2 overs as the West Indies suffered a cataclysmic collapse to see them trail by a mammoth 123 runs going into the second innings.

    Wood’s maiden Test fifer is also his career-best figures for England in Test cricket, trumping his previous best of 3-39 against Pakistan in Dubai.

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    England will resume on Monday with openers Rory Burns (10) and Keaton Jennings (8) looking to extend their 19-run partnership for the first wicket, with England enjoying the comfort of a 142-run lead against a rampaging West Indies bowling attack as they look to avoid another embarrassing lashing from the home side.


    Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images