Wood makes English record on IPL return as Lucknow triumph

Fast bowler Mark Wood proved his lack of experience in the Indian Premier League would not be an issue after he claimed the best figures for an Englishman in the tournament on Saturday, guiding Lucknow Super Giants to a win over Delhi Capitals.

Playing in only his second IPL match, Wood picked up 5-14 and was named Player of the Match as Lucknow sealed a 50-run win in their opening match of the season.

Lucknow set Delhi a target of 194 after Kyle Mayers hit 73 on his IPL debut. Even though Delhi skipper David Warner struck a half-century, the visitors fell short in their chase.

Wood, who had played once for the Chennai Super Kings in 2018, said he was eager to make an impact on his return to the Twenty20 tournament.

“Last time I was here, I played for CSK and it didn’t go quite well. So I wanted to try to make an impact this time and I’m delighted that it’s gone well,” Wood said in the post-match presentation.

“I’m just pleased that I managed to get some rhythm and take some wickets… The planning with (bowling coach) Morne Morkel helped me. He has been really good with me, just try to do similar with what I do for England.

“I was trying to keep my strides short because it (the pitch) was so wet. I feel at ease doing that charging in and letting it fly.”

Captain KL Rahul was full of praise for Wood.

“When someone is going well and has those kinds of performances, it has a huge impact on the team and on the result of the game. It was Woody’s day, he made it count, but overall the group put pressure on the batters,” Rahul said.

Australian Warner, whose new IPL captaincy started with a defeat, was also impressed by his potential Ashes rival Wood.

“He’s an exceptional bowler and he showed his true talent and experience tonight,” Warner said.

“For us it’s about going back to the drawing board. It’s one game. We go back to Delhi in front of our home crowd,” he added.

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