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Jofra Archer ‘over the moon’ after maiden five-wicket haul

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

England bowling sensation Jofra Archer revelled in his destructive spell of fast bowling, as his six wicket-haul helped England bundle out Australia for 179, on a rain-marred opening day of the third Ashes Test at Headingley, Leeds.

At 132-2 halfway through the final session of play on Thursday, August 22, Australia seemed set for a healthy first-innings total, with a set and determined David Warner, accompanied by the promising Marnus Labuschagne, at the crease. It was at this point that Archer stepped in, catalysing a dramatic collapse as the visitors lost their final eight wickets for just 43 runs.

Known for his natural ability to generate pace, Archer, however, said that pace alone can’t guarantee success. “I’m over the moon to get six wickets. I guess these are the things you train for. If you train hard in the game, you should be rewarded eventually. [And] I don’t need to run in and bowl 90 mph every spell to get wickets. It’s shown that today.”

The Barbados-born cricketer has become one of England’s favourite sons, and has carried his World Cup success into the longest format. Fans at Headingley on Thursday reserved their loudest cheers for the 24-year-old and Archer was grateful for their warmth and support.

“The support is heartwarming. Whenever I walk to my mark, everyone cheers,” he said. “When we get a wicket, there’s even more support. It’s nice to feel welcomed and appreciated.”

Having already dismissed Marcus Harris, Warner’s opening partner, earlier in the day, Archer returned to bowl in the final session, causing troubles for the well-set left-hander, before a 90-mph delivery finally induced an outside edge to Jonny Bairstow. Warner was all praise of Archer, whose consistency reminded him of South African great Dale Steyn

“That’s incredible Test bowling,” Warner said. “Joe won the toss, looked upstairs and they used that very well. As a left-hander, Stuart Broad is going to challenge you and it’s same with Jofra.

“It’s like Dale Steyn with the new ball – you use the conditions and then ramp it up when you need to. It was world-class bowling at its best, and England have a great prospect.”

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