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North-South Series 2m

Mark Wood delighted to return to competitive action

Mark Wood of Durham and England returned to competitive bowling in the first match of the North-South Series in Dubai.

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Mark Wood delighted to return to competitive action

Mark Wood returned to competitive action for the North

Mark Wood admitted his North team didn’t have much to smile about after their 10-wicket drubbing in the opening match of the North-South Series in Dubai.

But at least the Durham and England quick had the personal consolation of bowling his first seven overs in competitive cricket since the shock of discovering he had ended last season with a fractured bone in his left ankle.

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Mark Wood reflects on game one of the North-South Series

Following a ten wicket defeat for the North in game one of the North-South Series, Mark Wood had cause for optimism ahead of Sunday's second match in Dubai.

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Wood generated as much pace as anyone on an unusually slow surface at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, and is looking forward to continuing his comeback in the remainder of the series – with the North needing to win the day-night rematch in Dubai on Sunday to keep the series alive.

“I think I was the only bloke in the North team that was happy,” said the 27-year-old. “To get seven overs in – at the minute it’s not too much about the outcome for me, it’s just getting that volume of overs into my body.

“I felt great yesterday – it’s the first time I can honestly say that I’ve not really felt much in the ankle"

Mark Wood

“I felt great yesterday – it’s the first time I can honestly say that I’ve not really felt much in the ankle. So lots of positives for me. Whether I play the next game or one of the next two, that’ll be perfect, and try and get a full 10 overs in – we’ll need the full overs so our batters had better pull their fingers out.

“We were a little bit deflated, we got a good hammering. The South thoroughly deserved to win, they outplayed us in all areas. But we scored 400 in the warm-up game, so I think we’ve just got to draw a line in the sand and go to the next game. As a bowling unit we were striving for wickets, and as a batting group we didn’t put on as many partnerships as we wanted. So we’ve got to change that and turn it around next game.”

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