Mark Wood has not played international cricket since September after having three ankle surgeries

England’s Mark Wood took his first wicket after a six-month lay-off as North beat Worcestershire by 71 runs in the North-South warm-ups in Dubai.

The 27-year-old Durham fast bowler took 1-22 on his return from ankle surgery as Worcestershire, chasing 416, were bowled out for 345.

Hampshire batsman James Vince scored 125 as South reached 344-5 to beat the United Arab Emirates by five wickets.

The first of three North v South one-day matches takes place on Friday.

England one-day batsman Ben Duckett made 137, hitting 22 fours and three sixes as North posted 416-6, while Warwickshire leg-spinner Josh Poysden took 3-42.

For South, Somerset seamer Lewis Gregory took 3-70 to restrict UAE to 343-9, before Vince and Middlesex opener Dawid Malan (79) helped secure victory.

Scorecard: North beat Worcestershire by 71 runs

Scorecard: South beat UAE by five wickets

What is the North v South series?

The three-match series is designed as a warm-up for county cricket’s 50-over competition, the Royal London One-Day Cup, as well as helping players prepare for international cricket.

Eight players earned an automatic place on each team – with North represented by players from northern counties and South from southern counties – through the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Most Valued Player ratings formula, while the remaining players were chosen by the England selectors.

The PCA MVP rankings system identifies the match-winners and key influencers of matches throughout the domestic season.

It takes into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy and strike rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken.

South are coached by England assistant Paul Farbrace, while bowling coach Ottis Gibson oversees the North squad.


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