Wood tears into Southport line-up
THE long wait was certainly worth it for Palm Beach-Currumbin players and supporters, when English import Mark Wood finally unleashed his potent bowling against Southport at Salk Oval on Saturday.
Southport boasts a powerful batting line-up and it was expected that it would have the necessary firepower to run down PBC's first-innings tally of 218 when day two of their Gold Coast Cricket first grade match resumed.
But with Wood leading the way, the premiership pace-setter was dismissed for 190, leaving PBC to snare a deserved first-innings victory.
Wood, sparingly used in short three or four-over bursts in his bowling debut for the club, proved almost unplayable, returning the excellent figures of 5-23 off 12.3 fiery overs.
The wicket was dry and flat but the slim Wood was able to extract plenty of lift off the pitch, creating not only turmoil for the batsmen, but also for the PBC wicketkeeper, who on a few occasions jumped despairingly as the ball kept climbing over his outstretched hands and raced to the boundary.
PBC skipper Ryan Armstrong was delighted with Wood's bowling, which was based on blistering speed of more than 140kmh and swing and seam off the pitch.
"Mark was awesome. I'm just glad I wasn't facing him," Armstrong said.
"He didn't really knock himself about when steaming in but he was able to generate plenty of pace and trouble all batsmen.
"It will be something to see when Mark is fully wound up," he said.
Armstrong, mindful of Wood's lack of match fitness, used his star bowler in three short bursts.
Wood picked up both Southport openers, class batsmen Shayne McDiarmid and Danny Lee, in his opening spell to have Southport struggling at 2-33 before the middle order restored some respectability to its score.
The Englishman was given his second spell just after tea and immediately ended the dangerous third-wicket partnership, which had taken the score to 120, when Wade Kilborn had his stumps rattled by a ball that beat him for pace.
Wood came back towards the end of the day and took two more wickets to claim a deserved "five-for".