Stokes, Archer make wicket-taking County Championship appearances

England duo Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer made wicket-taking appearances in Friday’s County Championship action. 

England Test captain Stokes took two wickets for Durham on his first County Championship appearance for two years.

Stokes, who is hoping to resume duties as a fully-fledged all-rounder this summer following knee surgery, dismissed England Lions skipper Josh Bohannon and New Zealand’s Tom Bruce as he returned to action against Lancashire at Blackpool.

Stokes got through 17 overs and took two for 70, an encouraging sign after playing the majority of the last year as a specialist batter.

England’s white-ball captain Jos Buttler welcomed the return too of “proper superstar” Archer as the seamer made a wicket-taking return to action for Sussex’s 2nd XI.

A stress fracture of the back has kept Archer sidelined for the last year but he will be part of next month’s T20 World Cup and tuned up for the warm-up series with Pakistan by turning out for his county’s second string at Beckenham on Friday.

He was parachuted into the match on day four, taking the new ball and claiming 1-11 in six promising and pacy overs in Kent’s second innings.

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Jofra Archer put on impressive six-over display for Sussex’s second XI against Kent, potentially indicating an England comeback against Pakistan next week.

The 29-year-old, who has previously been playing domestic cricket in his native Barbados, hit opener Ekansh Singh on the helmet and then had him caught in the slips with a delivery that climbed sharply outside off stump and took the outside edge. Archer wrapped up with a maiden and will now link up with England in Leeds ahead of the opener against Pakistan.

Buttler, who returned early from the Indian Premier League to lead the side’s tournament preparations, said: “It’s a huge encouragement for him to be back and see him ready to play.

“Everyone knows what he is capable of and the attitude he possesses. As a captain he is someone you can always turn to in a game because he always has a trick up his sleeve.

Jos Buttler, England, T20 cricket (Associated Press)
Image: England’s white-ball captain Jos Buttler was delighted with Jofra Archer’s return

“It’s great to be able to call on him but it’s important to manage expectations. He has been out of it for a while now so we will need to look after him and realise that it might just take him a little while to be the Jofra of 2019.

“He is a proper superstar but we do have to be smart with him. It’s a jump in intensity from what he’s doing now to international cricket and you can’t really replicate it.”

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Source : Sky Sports