Barbadian fast bowler Jofra Archer caught the eye on his first-class debut today for English county Sussex in their three-day game against the touring Pakistanis.
Archer, who has represented the West Indies Under-19 team but has a British passport and wants to qualify for England, claimed 4 for 49 in 22 overs as Pakistan ended the day on 363 for 5 at the Hove County Ground.
Archer, a former Christ Church Foundation student, was recommended to Sussex by fellow Barbadian-born England international Chris Jordan, and has been mentored by former Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Corey Collymore. He has been playing second X1 cricket for Sussex but got his chance at the higher level today due to the absence of regulars Jordan, Ollie Robinson, Steve Magoffin and Stuart Whittingham who were all rested.
Opener Shan Masood was clueless in the same over in which Archer had him caught at the wicket for four. The 21-year-old was also swift enough to hit opening batsman Mohammed Hafeez on the helmet, and clever enough to pitch the next ball up and pin him lbw. Archer also accounted for Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq whom he had lbw for 68 as he padded up to a ball that would have taken off stump.
But Archer would have had particular pleasure in finally gaining the scalp of century-maker Azhar Ali who was caught by wicketkeeper and captain Ben Browne for 145. Ali attempted a pull shot but was too late on the stroke and edged behind. It was testimony to Archer’s promise and day’s work that his last spell of the day was as potent as his first. It was Ali’s second ton in two innings on the tour.
Ali, who reached his hundred from 205 balls, and Younis Khan (59) added 125 for the third wicket. Azhar then put on a further 146 with Misbah.