Wow, he’s back – Jofra Archer scores three goals to impress when back in action

English seamstress Jofra Archer began to put 18 months of injury behind him as he scored three goals in his return to South Africa’s newly launched T20 league.

Archer’s last cricket appearance for Sussex was in July 2021 and he has since undergone two elbow surgeries, suffered a broken back and underwent a arduous rehabilitation program which was sped up by a warm-up for England Lions in November.

Archer was among friends – with six England internationals on parade in the curtain-raising match between his side MI Cape Town and the Paarl Royals – and he instantly found his rhythm with a three-for-27 from his four-run. Cape Town took the win by eight goals, with a thrilling 70 not dropped from rising star Dewald Brevis, helping them reach their goal of 143.

Archer finished third in the match and announced his return with a priceless wicket virgin. Wihan Lubbe failed to get the first two deliveries before the next fell just too short, tore off the seam and looped the top edge.

Archer flashed a beaming smile as he watched the ball fall into the hands of George Linde halfway through the break. Things didn’t go as well as he leaked 13 from his second, including a ramp for four by English white ball captain Jos Buttler who scored the most with 51 of 42 balls.

But when called upon to show off his famous bowling skills, he hit the target again, allowing just two runs from the 19th and scoring two goals in as many deliveries.

The dangerous David Miller was unable to get past the edge of the cover point and Ferisco Adams was completely crushed by a slower ball. A dream hat-trick seemed to be on the cards, but Bjorn Fortuin kicked out the failed Yorker.

England captain Ben Stokes was delighted with Archer’s return, tweeting: “BUZZING BUZZING BUZZING to see @JofraArcher back on the pitch.”

Archer is expected to play one more match before joining Buttler’s ODI for a short three-match run against South Africa later this month, part of England’s carefully managed return to action.

Former England seamer and Yorkshire cricket director Darren Gough witnessed Archer’s efforts from the Sky Sports comment box and said: “England have been excellent over the last 12 months but add Jofra Archer and it leads to exciting times. What we saw in his first round was ‘wow he’s back’.

“It’s good to see him back in the game because we all want players like Jofra back in the middle.”

Archer captain Rashid Khan added: “Amazing, amazing. After such a long hiatus, this comeback is absolutely delightful to watch.

“It’s great, he’s back to full rhythm. It was great to watch, especially being on the pitch with him and not against him.

Sam Curran took nothing for 23 in three overs for Cape Town and scored 20, playing for the first time since his record £1.85m IPL contract, while Jason Roy is looking for form after falling to a hard-working 13th Olly Stone, who also returned from injury problems, cleared Dane Vilas and Buttler, who collected two for 31.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *