Jack Leach took 18 Sri Lankan wickets with his left-arm spin during England‘s 3-0 series win but declared a moment of magic with his right arm to be his career-high moment.
Leach has enjoyed a wonderful return to the Test arena in the past month, claiming his bumper haul at an enviable average of 21.38 and going at just 2.69 an over – the cheapest spinner on either side.
While the 27-year-old’s loyal fans from Somerset might not be surprised by his success on the turning tracks of Galle, Kandy and Colombo, he even managed to shock himself with a stunning run out on the final day of the series.
Kusal Mendis and Roshen Silva were threatening to bat Sri Lanka into a winning position when he took aim from at least 40 yards and left Mendis short of his ground with a direct hit that had his team-mates leaping for joy.
With 18 wickets in the series, Jack Leach has taken the most wickets by an England left-arm spinner since Hedley Verity’s 23 against India in 1933-34. #SLvEng— Patrick Noone (@PatrickNoone08) November 26, 2018
“I’ve never done anything like that and I think that was actually the best moment of my career so far! It was quite a big moment,” he said.
“I would love to say I’ve been working on those long-distance throws but I’d be lying. The towel at the back of my trousers wasn’t quite in properly so just before the ball came I quickly threw it to the boundary and then suddenly it looked like they were going to run two. I thought ‘oh no! I’ve conceded two here, I shouldn’t have done that’.
“Then I just launched it towards the stumps and thought ‘that looks like it might hit’ and it did, so I was a bit lucky but absolutely delighted.”
Leach’s workload of 142.4 overs in the three matches made him the busiest bowler in the England ranks, a testament to the trust he earned with captain Joe Root, and he is eyeing up a well-deserved break before preparing for another tour of duty in the West Indies in the new year.
“At the moment I just don’t want to play cricket ever again, I’m absolutely knackered!” he said.
“I’ll give it a couple of weeks rest and then I’ll be keen to get back in the gym and work on some things that I feel I can get better at and get myself ready for the Caribbean, if I’m picked.
“On an individual note it has been a great trip for me, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot through winning games, which is how you want it.”
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