Ashes 2019: Jofra Archer stakes claim for England call-up in second test

England paceman Jofra Archer has stylishly staked his claim for a debut in the second test of the Ashes with six wickets and a century during a dominant display for Sussex's second XI.

Archer was left out of the crushing first test defeat to Australia after playing through the pain of a side strain in his country's successful World Cup campaign.

The 24-year-old dispelled doubts about his fitness on Wednesday (NZT) with first-innings figures of 6-27 from 12.1 overs, including four maidens, before producing a superb knock of 108.

His performance against a youthful Gloucestershire second string gives England a timely boost ahead of next week's Lord's Test following their heavy 251-run defeat in the series opener and the loss of James Anderson to injury.

Anderson was always expected to miss next week's clash having bowled just four overs on the first morning before pulling up with a problem in his right calf. 

The 37-year-old, England's record wicket-taker, was a bit-part player thereafter, managing only two brief cameos with the bat.

The ECB said his fitness will now be monitored "on an ongoing basis", raising question marks over whether he will be seen again in the series.

Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie had backed his player ahead of the game, saying Archer is "100 per cent fit" and "must play" against Australia in London.

"I'll be completely honest and I might be biased as coach at Sussex but I was surprised he didn't play the first Test to be perfectly blunt. He should have played," the Australian told Talksport.

"All this stuff about his side, look, he's 100 percent fit, he's fine and ready to go.

"Personally I think England missed a trick by not playing him but he'll certainly play at Lord's.

"For me, pick a guy when he's in form, going well so for me it's a no-brainer.

"He must play this second Test. He adds another dimension to this England bowling attack - he's got pace, bounce, movement off the seam, through the air."

Archer's pace caused plenty of problems for the inexperienced opposition, with Milo Ayers feeling the full force of his bowling when a delivery clattered his grille.

Archer dismissed Tom Price and Gareth Roderick, caught by Joe Billings and Jack Carson respectively, inside his opening five overs.

He claimed his third wicket of the day by removing the off stump of Matt Brewer and then, in the space of three balls in the 29th over, had Dominic Goodman caught by Tom Haines and struck Jack Worgan's middle stump.

Gloucestershire top scorer Gregory Willows was Archer's final victim, caught by Carson for 38 off the opening delivery of the 33rd over to leave the visitors 79 all out.

With the bat, Archer made 108 from 99 balls during a 104-minute innings which included 12 fours and four sixes, before being trapped lbw by Adrian Neill. At the close Sussex were 8-279.

PA