Jofra Archer boosts for England as fast bowler insists he is fit for New Zealand test after returning to Sussex
- Archer immediately impressed on his return to first-class cricket with Sussex
- He took the first two wickets when Kent was thrown out for just 145 on Thursday
- Archer was asked to prove his fitness for the first test against New Zealand
- English national coach Chris Silverwood will appoint his test team on Tuesday
England’s fast bowler Jofra Archer returned to competitive action for Sussex
Jofra Archer immediately impressed on his return to first-class cricket with Sussex – insisting he felt fit for next month’s first test against New Zealand.
His participation had been questioned after concerns in the England camp that he had been running at full throttle in a Second XI match last week – his first red ball cricket since the third test against India in Ahmedabad in February.
But with head coach Chris Silverwood set to name his Test squad on Tuesday, Archer took two early wickets when Kent was yelled at 145 at Hove and showed no signs of the right elbow problem that recently shut him out of the IPL.
After starting with two maidens, he found extra bounce to send Daniel Bell-Drummond to the second slip, before removing Test teammate Zak Crawley, who was trailing seven on an unplayable pitch.
Archer’s opening spell, up the Hove hill, read 4-3-6-2. There was time for two more eruptions on a rain-splashed first day, but no more wickets, leaving him with two for 29 of 13 overs.
“I tried not to get too frustrated with the injury,” he said. ‘My condition is fine – I thought I bowed okay. When I’m fit I think I’ll play in the Test series and feel good. I would like to enter the English bubble again. ‘
However, the spotlight was grabbed by Test hopeful Ollie Robinson, who finished three for 29 from 18, bringing his season to 28 wickets to 13. Only Jack Leaning resisted for a long time, making him 63, before Sussex closed at 51 for two.
Elsewhere, Durham opener Alex Lees fell for 99 when his side was turned down for 246 by Worcestershire at Chester-le-Street, with sailor Josh Tongue bowling four on his way to figures of five for 39.
In the only other game to escape the rain, Middlesex reached 90 for four against Hampshire at Lord’s.
Kent batsman Jack Leaning avoids an Archer bouncer in Hove on Thursday