Worcestershire paceman Josh Tongue is delighted to be back playing after claiming a couple of prized scalps on the opening day of the tour match against Australia at Blackfinch New Road.
Tongue picked up 16 wickets in his first three Specsavers County Championship matches of the season but had been side-lined since late May after suffering a nerve tissue injury in his upper arm.
He returned against the tourists to bowl opener Cameron Bancroft (33) via the inside edge and had Usman Khawaja (57) caught behind by Alex Milton.
The pair had both played in Australia’s first Test triumph over England at Edgbaston earlier this week.
Tongue finished with 2-46 from 13 overs as Australia declared on 266-5 from 75 overs.
He said: “It is obviously a great challenge for myself to come back into the side against Australia after they have just won the first Test and I felt it was a good day for me.
“Whoever is down the other end, I just try and bowl my best ball and do what works for me and hopefully that gets wickets.
“I felt we did really well to be fair. Their batting line-up is really strong and we stuck to our strengths all day and bowled really well as a unit.”
Tongue has his sights on playing a full part for the County during the remaining seven weeks of the campaign.
He added: “For me It is just great to be back playing, back in the squad and around the lads.
“It is frustrating when you are injured, especially the amount of time I was out for, over two months.
“I think what happened was just building up over time and when I was bowling I had pins and needles in my hand. It was a strange one.
“Ben (Davies) tried to loosen up my peck (nerve) but it was more about giving it time to rest and then getting back in the gym.
“I’m hoping to play the next four Championship games and to try and get into the T20 squad if I can and play a few of those games as well.”
Jack Haynes was handed his first class debut for the County a week after signing a contract extension until the end of the 2022 season.
The former Malvern College pupil made 24 with some impressive strokes as Worcestershire closed on 31-3.
Tongue said: “It is amazing for him, especially at his age, playing against Australia in his first game and facing the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood was a bit mind-blowing.
“That’s what he said to me when he came off the pitch. He played really well.”