WOOD STAKES CLAIM
DURHAM PACEMAN MARK STARS ALONGSIDE COUGHLIN AS LIONS SECURE VICTORY IN PERTH
Durham pace bowler Mark Wood staked his claim for an Ashes call-up by impressing with the bat for England Lions.
Wood teamed up with former club-mate Paul Coughlin as the Lions took on a Western Australia XI in Perth, where the Third Ashes Test will start next week.
Wood fired an impressive 51 off 52 balls, while Sunderland-born Coughlin, who has joined Nottinghamshire from Durham, hit 64 from 49 deliveries as the tourists made 282 in 50 overs.
Despite those efforts, the Lions succumbed by six wickets, with 21-year-old Clint Hinchliffe posting an excellent century (131) and wicketkeeper Calum How unbeaten on 80 as the home side reached their victory target with 11 balls to spare at the Murdoch University ground.
Wood claimed two of the four wickets to fall, for the loss of 56 runs in his 10 overs, and said: “We bowled well as a pace group, because it was a 350 pitch, and the conditions were something I wasn’t expecting to experience out here.
“The groundsman warned us about the wind from Fremantle, and it was gale force.
“We had the pace bowlers running into it, and the spinners bowling with it, so their batters wouldn’t be hitting the spinners downwind.
“Maybe we should have mixed it up a bit, but it was really hard work.
“But, for me, it was nice to get some more overs under my belt – the more I bowl, the more confidence it gives me. I felt like I bowled sharp again, and kept the ball rolling with the upward trend I’m on.
“I enjoyed the batting too, especially with Paul.
“We’re good friends from Durham, so we know each other’s game pretty well – so even though we were in a bit of bother when I came in to join him, we kept it relaxed and relatively simple.
“I’m really pleased to see him do so well, and to show the coaches out here what he can do.
“He had a bit of an injury scare in our three-day game in Brisbane, when his knee got stuck in the turf after he’d dived for a ball and was trying to get up quickly to throw.
“You think of the Simon Jones incident, but, fortunately, it only turned out to be bruising.
“That was painful for him for a while, but he’s showed today what he can do – he bowled well as well.”
The Lions have a T20 match at the same venue today. If Wood does not force his way into the Ashes squad, he can look forward to three T20 games against Big Bash League club Perth Scorchers at the new 55,000-capacity Perth Stadium.