In today’s cricket news, learn more about Mark Wood and Jack Leach who were instrumental in England’s victory over Pakistan in the prestigious overseas series on Monday. Meanwhile, England cricket legend Freddie Flintoff was reportedly airlifted to the hospital after a scary crash while filming an episode of Top Gear in the United Kingdom. Lastly, fast bowler Lauren Bell says that England can show the world “how good a squad we can be” in the last four T20 internationals against West Indies before the World Cup in February.
Mark Wood and Jack Leach Shine Ahead of Series Sweep Opportunity
Wood, who hadn’t played a Test or bowled more than four overs since March, was England’s major weapon in Pakistan’s second innings and bowled a clinic.
Wood took Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel, and Mohammad Nawaz before crushing Zahid Mahmood’s stump with 97mph. Shoaib Akhtar, who destroyed England 17 years ago, would have been proud.
Wood’s influence with the ball makes him so vital to Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum ahead of a huge summer in 2023, with or without Jofra Archer. He also batted effectively, scoring 36 to send England past 250 in the first innings.
Wood said, “Honestly, I’m shattered.” I’d run through a brick wall for Stokesy, so I’m glad I got those wickets for him.
Multan demonstrated Wood’s endurance. His integrity and passion are unquestionable.
Leach-Root, an unusual spin duo
Jack Leach once again proved his worth to Stokes’ England on a surface with more turn and pleasure for spinners than Rawalpindi.
Stokes’ faith in Leach—with more aggressive fields and earlier spells—is fueling the best form of his Test career, and his four wickets in the first innings set the stage for a historic victory. He is now another of Stokes’ go-to bowlers, so having 100 Test wickets for his country should bring him additional praise.
“I think he has improved and learnt a lot,” said England seamer Stuart Broad on Sky Sports Cricket. “He has played 31 Test matches in all conditions, and his record is up there with English spinners.”
England’s second spinner, Joe Root, took three wickets in Multan. He became the third player (and first Englishman) to amass over 10,000 runs and take 50 wickets in Tests, joining Steve Waugh and Jacques Kallis.
Although Stokes clearly respects Root, if he had bowled himself more as captain, he would have been closer to their wicket totals (92 and 292).
Abrar shines, but Pakistan’s misfortune?
Pakistan’s strengths first.
In his first Test and 15th first-class match, Abrar Ahmed took 11 wickets, equaling a Pakistan record. His googly, which rotates more than his leg-spinner, and accuracy might make him an international terror for years.
Pakistan could use more help from their other bowlers—Mohammad Ali was wicketless in his second Test and Zahiid Mahmood collected wickets but is going at over seven an over. On a bowler-friendly pitch, their batting lineup appeared stretched.
Shafique and Shakeel could be stalwarts, but Pakistan collapsed from 142-2 to 202 all-out in the first innings, a loss they could never recover from.
Captain Babar Azam said, “We didn’t finish well in the first innings.”
Pakistan are contributing to a great series, but they must win in Karachi to satisfy their fans.
Controversy surrounds big Shakeel wicket
However, Pakistan were unlucky with Shakeel’s important wicket on day four.
Pope dived low to his right after flicking the ball down the leg-side, and the on-field umpires signaled out.
It moved upstairs and on replay, it seemed like Pope may have dragged the ball along the ground before catching it, with the ball in between his gloves rather than nestling in them, but the ambiguous evidence meant the initial judgement held. That decision would have stayed if the soft signal wasn’t out.
Afterward, Babar claimed, “It seemed like the ball touched the ground.”
“As a professional, you have to respect the umpire, but we felt the ball was grounded.”
Pope confessed he wasn’t sure about the catch, but Stokes stated he had “no doubt.”
As a goalkeeper, “you honestly can’t tell.” “It didn’t appear to have impacted the earth. Wearing gloves, you feel it go in.”
England’s biggest overseas series win?
England has a chance to sweep Pakistan’s Test series for the first time.
It’s been a memorable Test series for the visitors, and a 3-0 win would put it among England’s best overseas series victories.
The 2011 Ashes and 2013 success in India would undoubtedly want a word, as would Nasser Hussain’s 2000 win in Pakistan, but a sweep here would be notable for dominating an established side in their favourite conditions and the brave attitude.
The last Test: will there be changes?
In the last game, Wood, Nasser’s “racehorse England must take care of,” could be rested following his heroics in Multan.
With a wildcard spinner waiting in the wings, James Anderson’s 40-year-old workload might also be considered.
England could get a glimpse of 18-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed in a Karachi game.
Nasser doesn’t think that.
“I think you just continue on living for the moment,” he told Sky Sports Cricket. “To avoid ending the tour on a down note, you must win the present.
“You ask Mark Wood if he’s ready to go again. If he’s uncertain, rest him.
“But you don’t just turn to Ahmed because you want to give it a game, you’re playing at Karachi, one of the best grounds, and you want to complete a 3-0 win.”
Though he struggled with the bat and was hardly used with the ball, Will Jacks may be in doubt for the last game.
Freddie Flintoff Hospitalized Following Top Gear Crash
England cricket legend Freddie Flintoff was rushed to the hospital following a horrific crash while shooting Top Gear in the UK.
According to The Sun, the former English cricketer was filming for a BBC program in Surrey on Monday when the tragedy occurred.
The 45-year-old was evacuated to hospital after the unexpected collision at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome.
While filming his appraisal of a car for the show, Flintoff was hurt.
Flintoff was recording when the event happened, and medics at the Cranleigh location helped him.
Despite his scary helicopter ride to the hospital, sources close to the father-of-four stated his injuries were “not life-threatening.”
His co-star Chris Harris, who presents the show with Flintoff and Paddy McGuiness, was also at the Top Gear test track.
“Freddie is in hospital after a Top Gear incident,” a source informed The Sun.
He drove on the course normally. He wasn’t speeding—it was an accident that might happen to anyone.
“All the standard health and safety safeguards were in place for filming.”
After that, Freddie was airlifted to the hospital.
“His injuries are not life-threatening and he is receiving care.
“Freddie’s recovery is everyone’s priority.”
Flintoff was hospitalized after the collision, according to a BBC representative.
The spokesman stated, “Freddie was hurt in an accident at the Top Gear test track this morning – with crew medics attending the scene immediately.”
“He has been brought to hospital for additional treatment and we will provide more details.”
The cricketer’s disaster follows his tight escape from a 124mph crash in 2019.
In one event, Freddie yelled, “I can’t stop,” as he hurtled head-first down a runway in a three-wheeled cycle car.
Paddy, 49, and Chris, 47, joined Flintoff as Top Gear hosts in 2018.
The hosting trio was a smash, and the show moved from BBC Two to BBC One in 2020.
Lauren Bell Believes England Women Can Prove Their T20 Prowess Against West Indies
After a 3-0 whitewash in the Caribbean One-Day International series, England won the first of five T20Is by eight wickets. The series continues in Barbados on Wednesday.
Bell, 21, took 3-26 in the T20 opener five days after taking 4-33 in the second ODI and hopes to make England’s World Cup squad in South Africa.
On Tuesday, the seamer said: “The next four T20s are a terrific opportunity to show the world where we are with our cricket and how excellent a T20 side we can be.
“It’s also a chance to test some of our less-experienced T20 players. I’m aiming for the World Cup.”
The 37-year-old is still a major member of England’s T20 side, and Bell is learning from her.
Bell stated: “I played with Katherine for the first time in the first T20. She opened bowling with few individuals.
“I can learn a lot from her and Crossy [Kate Cross] in the ODIs. They’ll assist me.”
“I understand my function in this team.”
Bell added: New head coach Jon Lewis, who replaced Lisa Keightley, has fostered an environment: “New coaches have been wonderful for the team.
“Jon has inspired and entertained women’s cricket viewers. It’s a decent way to see the game, I suppose.
“Coaches and captain Heather Knight have given me a lot of confidence. I know where I stand in this team.”
The Shard, as Bell is known, made her England Test, ODI, and T20I debuts during the home summer and has taken 12 wickets in nine matches across formats.
Summary of today’s Cricket/Sports News
Overall, in his return, Wood gives England a much-needed boost. On Monday, Mark Wood and Jack Leach led England to a historic series victory over Pakistan while touring abroad. A questionable Saub Shakeel wicket and potential adjustments made by England ahead of the third Test in Karachi are other major topics of discussion as the Three Lions look to complete a clean sweep of the series.
On the other hand, according to reports, England cricket legend Freddie Flintoff was taken to the hospital following a scary incident he experienced while filming an episode of Top Gear in the United Kingdom. The Sun said that the accident occurred on Monday, as the former English cricketer was filming for a BBC documentary in Surrey. The 45-year-old pilot had a terrifying crash at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome and was immediately flown to the hospital.
Finally, England won the first of five Twenty20 Internationals against the West Indies by eight wickets, with three wickets from Lauren Bell. The 21-year-old seam bowler is eager for England to make a “statement” before the T20 World Cup in South Africa in February. The series against the West Indies continues in Barbados.