JOSH Tongue has relished Worcestershire’s earlier return to action at Malvern College this winter as he seeks to put last summer’s injury frustration behind him.

The paceman picked up 47 Championship wickets and played all 14 games in 2017 and followed that up with 40 more in 11 games the following season.

A nerve tissue injury followed by a side strain restricted Tongue to four Championship appearances last summer although he still picked up 17 wickets at 18.94 runs apiece and topped the County’s averages.

But the Redditch-born player has been bowling with no ill-effects since the players reported back in early November.

Tongue said: “It’s been good, it’s been tough. A lot of fitness work and we’ve come back to Malvern College early as well.

“It’s been good to be back bowling because I was injured at the end of the season and I wanted to get cracking as soon as possible really.

“From that Northants game that side strain came at a bad time in my season and the winter could have been looking different in terms of the (England) Lions.

“It was frustrating. I played four Championship games which obviously is not what I wanted. It was disappointing not to play more matches.

“Injuries can happen to young bowlers and it’s how you come back from them and if you come back stronger which is what I am determined to do.”

Tongue believes the earlier return to bowling will be of benefit given that Championship cricket will dominate the fixture list in April and May.

He said: “That first block of the County season is six Championship matches so coming back early to start bowling is definitely good for me and I think for the others as well.

“We finish this week then have two weeks off for the festive season and then will come straight back in on January 6 and hit the ground running.”

Tongue has had a knack of picking up wickets. He said: “If we hit a dry patch in the game, Leachy (captain Joe Leach) will chuck me the ball to try to get a wicket and get us back in the game.

“I bowled well for those four games although still probably not as well as I could have done but I still picked up wickets.”

Meanwhile, Jack Haynes helped England under 19s defeat Sri Lanka by 44 runs in a dress-rehearsal for Saturday’s Tri-Series final in the Caribbean at Coolidge Cricket Ground.

The Worcestershire batsman struck 39 for his highest score so far in the series as England amassed 292-4 in 50 overs.

Haynes came to the wicket at 74-2 and added 79 for the third wicket with century-maker Jordan Cox in 20.5 overs.

The 18-year-old worked hard for his runs and hit one boundary in his 63-ball knock.

Haynes was bowled by slow left-armer Sonal Dinusha with the total on 153 in the 38th over.

Cox finished unbeaten on 105 and Joey Evison hit six sixes in an unbeaten 50 from 18 balls before Sri Lanka fell short on 248-9.

Sarah Glenn helped England seal a 3-0 T20I series win against Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur.

The Worcestershire Women’s Rapids leg-spinner ended her first taste of international action with 2-12 from three overs as England triumphed by 26 runs.

She dismissed opener Nahida Khan (8) and captain Bismah Maroof (17) as the 20-year-old conceded just one boundary from her penultimate delivery.

Pakistan closed on 144-5 in reply to 170-3 and went down by 26 runs.

Glenn took her England wicket tally into double figures as Pakistan were beaten by 84 runs in the second T20I in Kuala Lumpur.

She took 1-17 from three overs as Pakistan were dismissed for 101 in reply to 185-5.

England now head home after winning the ODI Series 2-0 ahead of the T20 contests.