Mark Wood clocked at 97mph as England reclaim T20 lead over Pakistan

It was pace bowler's first appearance for six months in Karachi

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Mark Wood was clocked at 97mph in his first appearance for six months as England roared back to form to thrash Pakistan in Karachi.

Twenty-four hours after a 10-wicket defeat, England reclaimed a 2-1 lead in the seven-match T20 series as they waltzed to victory by 63 runs.

Defending a formidable total of 221 for three, Wood turned up the heat as he hit some of the fastest speeds ever recorded by an English bowler and picked up three for 25 from four fiery overs.

It was hard to believe the 32-year-old had not played competitive cricket since suffering a serious elbow injury in March and the only signs of discomfort came from the opposition batters, who could not cope with his skiddy pace.

"It has been a long time. I felt pretty tired at the end with the intensity of international cricket but I will be good to go again," said Wood.

"It was loud and the support in general has been really good. They are really knowledgeable about cricket and very supportive.

"Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan played really well last time so it was good to get them early doors.

"I felt pretty good leading into the game. I've had lots of time training and in the gym but nothing beats playing a game.

"The challenge now is to back it up. I have a down day tomorrow where I'll rest and get ready for the next game. What's important to not to go too hard now and mean I'm not ready for the World Cup. I have to peak at the right time.

"There's a good feeling about the dressing room. We weren't too critical after the last defeat we just looked at what we could do better."

The foundations were earlier laid by career-best efforts from two middle-order rookies, Harry Brook smashing 81 not out from 35 balls and Ben Duckett making an unbeaten 70 from 42. But Wood is more likely than either of those players to be a first-choice selection in next month’s World Cup, making him the headline act.

The early exchanges belonged to debutant Will Jacks, who struck 40 in 22 balls after being drafted in to replace the rested Alex Hales.

Pakistan’s hopes lay with their top two, fresh from a unbroken stand of 203 just a day prior, but Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan both came crashing back to earth, dismissed for eight apiece.

Wood needed precisely four balls to make up for lost time, Babar unable to control a rapid delivery as he flashed a head high catch to third man. Reece Topley also made a splash, knocking over Rizwan’s leg stump as he looked to make room.

Wood’s second over had even more heat and Haider Ali wanted none of it, flapping a throat ball to square-leg in what was little more than self-preservation. By the time Iftikhar Ahmed fell to an ugly shot off Sam Curran, the score was 28 for four and the contest effectively over.

Shan Masood enjoyed a personal success, making an entertaining 66no, but Wood made short work of Haris Rauf when he returned and the game barely existed as a contest for the majority of the reply.

Updated: September 23, 2022, 6:52 PM
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