Archer’s ‘heart skipped a beat’ after ball hit Smith’s neck


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England fast bowler Jofra Archer insisted he had no intention to hit Australia’s Steve Smith during the second Ashes Test, saying “everyone’s heart skipped a beat” after he felled the star batsman with a fearsome bouncer at Lord’s.

In a compelling passage of play on Saturday’s fourth day that saw World Cup-winner Archer, making his Test debut, repeatedly tested Smith with the short ball, the 24-year-old Sussex quick produced a 148.7km/h bouncer that hit Smith on his unprotected neck.

Smith, who fell to the ground, retired hurt after receiving onfield treatment.


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