Sport

Six-wicket Archer doesn't always feel need for speed

Friday, August 23, 2019

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LEEDS, United Kingdom (AFP) – Jofra Archer insisted his six-wicket haul on the opening day of the third Ashes Test at Headingley proved there was more to his game than raw pace alone.

The build-up to this match had featured plenty of talk about the physical threat posed by England fast bowler Archer who, by hitting Steve Smith with a 92 mph bouncer in the drawn second Test at Lord's, had ruled the star Australia batsman out of the Headingley match with a concussion.

But Archer deployed his fearsome short-ball sparingly during a superb return of six for 45 in 17.1 overs as Australia, 1-0 up in the five-match series, were dismissed for just 179 after England captain Joe Root won the toss in overcast conditions on his Yorkshire home ground.

“I don't need to run in and bowl 90 mph every spell to get wickets,” said Archer.

Archer, the 24-year-old Barbados-born son of an English father, said conditions in Leeds dictated why he bowled fewer short balls than at Lord's.

“I bowled a few, obviously, to let the batter know they are still there but this wasn't a short-ball wicket; it wasn't as hard as Lord's,” he said.

Archer arrived at Headingley rather closer to the toss than England would have liked but their new spearhead, who came into the side after James Anderson broke down with a calf injury early during Australia's 251-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston, is a cool customer.

Australia did manage one substantial stand in an innings that was finished inside 53 overs, with David Warner (61) and Marnus Labuschagne (74) putting on 111 for the third wicket.

Labuschange's innings was his second straight-half-century after making 59 as Smith's concussion replacement, the first in Test history, in the second innings at Lord's.

Archer, however, swung the match back to England by having Warner caught behind off a 90 mph delivery.


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