Wood: Booking World Cup semi-final spot at my home ground is a career high
Fast bowler Mark Wood claimed England’s crucial 119-run over New Zealand on his home ground in Durham as one of the proudest days of his career.
- Mark Wood finished with figures of 3/34 as England beat New Zealand by 119 runs at the Riverside
- England will play either Australia or India at Edgbaston in World Cup semi-final
- Full Match Highlights
Wood took 3/34 as England booked a place in the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1992.
The 29-year-old Durham paceman hails from the north-eastern village of Ashington around 50km north of the Riverside.
And Wood admitted: “It was a pretty special day. Apart from maybe my debut, that was the proudest game I’ve had.
“Singing the national anthem with my whole family in the crowd was pretty special. The ground looked great and the result was even better.”
Wood also had a hand – or a finger tip to be precise – in the dismissal of New Zealand captain and key man, Kane Williamson.
As Ross Taylor straight-drove a delivery back towards the bowler, Wood got the smallest deflection on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Williamson out of his ground.
The Black Caps skipper was the third man out for 61 in the 16th over, leaving New Zealand a mountain to climb to overhaul England’s 305/8.
Wood joked: “He doesn’t know how unlucky he is because I’ve got the smallest hands for a bloke you’ve ever seen! The umpire wasn’t sure if I’d tipped it but I knew it had flicked the end of my finger.
“He’s one of the best players I’ve ever bowled at so I was pretty pleased we didn’t have to bowl at him any more.
“It’s nothing to do with my bowling – I just got lucky. It’s not as though I deliberately palmed the ball back on to the stumps. I was just trying to stop it. But in big games you need moments like that.”
Wood has suffered a number of serious injuries through his career but has played England’s last eight matches in the tournament after missing the opener against South Africa.
He said: “I might get a nose bleed because I’ve played that many games in a row! I’m pretty happy with my form and the way my body has held up.
“I’ve kept my spot through my form and normally I would have been rested but I have felt pretty good so there’s been no need to change.
“If the tactics need to change and I don’t play then that’s fine but Morgs [Eoin Morgan] has given me a lot of confidence and backed me all the way.”
He added: “It feels pretty special to be in a World Cup semi-final and I’m really pleased that we’re playing at Edgbaston because it has a great atmosphere and it’s a ground we’ve done well at.”
Wood – who will make his 50thODI appearance if selected in the semi-final - praised the team’s comeback from back-to-back defeats to beat India and New Zealand, saying: “It’s taken a lot of courage from the team to maintain our values even when we’ve had our backs up against the wall.
“Now we’re going on to another huge game but one we’ll be pretty confident about. Maybe at the end of the World Cup if everything goes to plan we might look back at the Sri Lanka and Australia games and say they built the character of the team.”