Rapid Archer breaks new ground
With the wind at his back and plenty of runs to defend, Jofra Archer produced the fastest ever opening spell in an ODI in English cricket history.
Bangladesh felt the full force as the Sussex seamer came tearing in from the Cathedral Road End and produced a brutal barrage that the Tigers’ top order struggled to deal with.
He averaged 90.6mph for his opening spell – the fastest by an Englishman since speeds were first recorded ball by ball back in 2006.
But in fact it was Mark Wood who bowled the fastest ball in England’s 106-run win – a 95.6mph effort that typified England’s pacey approach.
And while Archer insists speed is not everything, it is clear that Wood’s skiddy scud missiles have brought the best out of the Bajan-born bowler.
“It came out well, but I was much more happy with bowling well, than just bowling fast,” he said.
“You feel good some days. You have the wind on your back as well. More often than not that’s going to be a quicker day. I thought if I started at the other end, I probably wouldn’t have got to the speed I did, so the ends and the wind can have a big difference.
“It’s nice to see but I’m much more concerned about bowling well. If I bowl at just 90 and I’m bowling well, I’d be much happier than bowling fast and going for six or seven an over.
“Actually, none of my speeds came up on the scoreboard. Only Woody’s speed came up. So it was a bit… well a bit biased really!
“I’m a little bit quicker than him. It’s good competition really to have someone at the other end. It pushes you to do a bit better. Any little thing that can make you better makes the team better. So… keep it up.”
Archer finished with figures of 3/29 from his 8.5 overs in Cardiff, an impressive economy of 3.28 and a big improvement from his 0/79 against Pakistan in defeat at Trent Bridge.
“I don’t think I did anything different today than at Trent Bridge. The wickets change, the batters change, conditions change. You know that sometimes you won’t have a good day and the good balls might go for boundaries. You just keep a level head and keep bouncing back.”
England now have a break before taking on the West Indies at the Hampshire Bowl next Friday.
But Archer will not be getting carried away about playing the nation of his birth next week.
He added: “It’s just another game of cricket, same as today, same as the last game.
“I know them pretty good. I played with a few of the guys in under-19, so it will be good to actually play against them this time.
“I’ll be able to share some knowledge, but I do that whenever we play. Even today I played against and with some of the Bangladeshi guys in the BPL and I guess I’ll share some knowledge when we play India and Australia. It’s not just the West Indies, I’ve got a pretty good knowledge of most of the prominent batters.”
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