Jofra Archer makes successful return to competitive cricket

England speedster Jofra Archer made a successful return to cricket from an injury lay-off, scalping two wickets in his first competitive match in more than one and a half months.

Turning out for Sussex in a County Championship game against Kent on Thursday, Archer finished with figures of 2 for 29 from his 13 overs, which included the wickets of Zak Crawley and Kent skipper Bell Drummond, as the tourists were bundled out for 145.

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“My fitness is fine. I thought I bowled okay. I played in the (Sussex) second team last week and it’s good to get some confidence and I felt fine,” Archer said.

“I bowled in short spells for protection in case we had a long day but it was overcast, which helped a bit. There was a bit of management, but it all worked out.”

Archer, whose last appearance was the fifth T20I between India and England on March 20, was struggling with a freak hand injury and later underwent a surgery to remove a glass fragment from a tendon on his right hand after an attempt to clean his fish tank went wrong.

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The 26-year-pacer had sustained the injury at his home in January and the surgery was conducted while he was still undergoing treatment for a long-term elbow injury.

The injury woes forced Archer to pull out of the now-suspended IPL 2021.

The ongoing match is Archer’s last chance to prove his fitness ahead of England’s Test series against New Zealand, which starts on June 2 at Lord’s.

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