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WOOD TAKES TWO WICKETS, HITS HALF-CENTURY FOR LIONS

Durham seamer has been suggested as a possible option for England in the Ashes

Mark Wood claimed two wickets and made a half-century with the bat on his run-out for England Lions in Perth.

The Durham seamer, who has been suggested as one possible option for England in the third Test against Australia at the WACA next week, was unable to steer his side to victory against a Western Australia XI in a 50-over encounter.

However, the sight of Wood in action will have buoyed supporters calling for more pace to the Test attack. 

The Western Australia XI chased down their target of 283 for the loss of just four wickets, as Clint Hinchcliffe made 131 and wicketkeeper Calum How finished unbeaten on 80.

In addition to Wood's two-wicket haul, Saqib Mahmood and George Garton collected one victim apiece. 

“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,” said Wood, who was the only bowler to complete his 10-over allocation and ended with two for 56.

Mark Wood is pushing for a Test recall

“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 Coughlin (who top scored with 64). 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 are back at Murdoch for their first T20 game on Thursday, before their tour gains a higher profile next week with three games which will form part of Perth Scorchers’ preparation for the Big Bash – two of them at the new 55,000-capacity Perth Stadium.

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