England v Pakistan, 1st npower Test, Trent Bridge July 29, 2010

Morgan's magical maiden ton gives England control


England 331 for 4 (Morgan 125*, Collingwood 81*) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Eoin Morgan had four Tests against Pakistan to prove he should be on the plane to Australia. He's booked a ticket in one innings after his maiden Test century carried England to 331 for 4 on the opening day at Trent Bridge. Morgan finished on 125 alongside Paul Collingwood on 81 as the fifth-wicket pair added 213 after Mohammad Aamer's three wickets left England struggling on 118 for 4

Other than Aamer's continued excellence Pakistan's cricket was shambolic less than a week after ending their 15-year drought against Australia. The support bowling lacked control with Danish Kaneria's struggles creating a major headache for Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal had another nightmare behind the stumps. During the first session he dropped a regulation edge from Andrew Strauss and with the game being taken away from them during the final session he couldn't complete a simple stumping when Collingwood charged Kaneria.

Morgan, though, was breathtaking. He raised his hundred (just his seventh in first-class cricket) from 151 balls with a signature straight six off Kaneria - to rubber-stamp an individual battle he won hands down - and it was an innings that answered a lot of questions about technique and temperament.

The fact he did it from a position where England were in some trouble after Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott departed in four balls after lunch added further weight to the innings. Neither did he change his game from what has brought him one-day success; he used his feet to the spinners, drove inside-out through cover and even unfurled the reverse sweep.

There were a couple of nervous moments. Early in the innings he edged Aamer to Akmal but although the keeper claimed the catch - perhaps just in the sheer joy of thinking he'd caught one - replays soon showed it had grazed the turf. When he'd reached 78 he was given lbw to Kaneria but was saved by the UDRS when replays showed the ball would have spun past leg stump. Two of the next three deliveries were driven effortlessly through the covers.

Ironically, had Pakistan not used up their two reviews early in the day they could have referred a lbw appeal against Morgan on 34 when he swept at Shoaib Malik and the ball was hitting flush on leg stump. Both Pakistan's reviews were taken during Pietersen's painful 29-ball innings as the visitors twice challenged not-out decisions. Mohammad Asif was the bowler on both occasions, firstly with an lbw appeal which replays showed was only clipping the bails then when he thought Pietersen had edged to the wicketkeeper but the noise, expertly noticed by Asoka de Silva, had been bat clipping pad.

Pietersen, though, never settled and looked woefully short of form in his first innings for nearly a month and there was no doubt about his eventual dismissal when Asif nipped a ball back which took the inside edge into the stumps. It was another wonderful piece of bowling from an intelligent operator.

England's problems were compounded in the next over when Trott, who had been reprieved by the UDRS when he had 13 after being given lbw to Kaneria despite an inside edge, padded up to an inswinger from Aamer and this time Trott's request for a review couldn't save him.

While Morgan entered needing to prove himself in a tricky situation, Collingwood has made his name in such positions and was quite happy to play second fiddle as his young partner sped away. However, he never passed up a scoring opportunity such as consecutive long hops from the struggling Umar Gul that were cut through the covers after Pakistan had kept England's scoring rate to less than two-an-over for an hour after lunch. By the end of the day the hosts were racing and the stand was England's first over 200 since Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara added 213 against West Indies, at Chester-le-Street, last May.

Strauss had also looked in good form during the morning session although had a huge stroke of luck when Akmal added another awful drop to a sizeable collection of keeping horrors. Akmal had been tidy during the recent series against Australia but he remains an unconvincing gloveman. Aamer did manage to break the opening stand when he squared up Cook and Imran Farhat at first slip showed his keeper how to take a catch.

Already, though, it was becoming clear that the onus was on Aamer to do the damage himself and when his opening six-over spell ended life became much easier for Strauss and Trott. But 10 minutes before lunch Aamer was recalled for his second burst and with his fourth ball he found Strauss's top edge as the England captain's eyes lit up at a hint of width. Pakistan might have thought they'd shifted the key left hander in the nick of time, but then along came Morgan to stamp his name on Test cricket.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • usman on July 30, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    brilliant bowling by asif on 2nd morning and @jose @cricketingstargaze@ stationmaster what u say now ? so never underestimate pak

  • Atif on July 30, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    Morgan also played well but I think Pakistani also think over about the pitch behaviour. In my opinion when I saw around 1st 15 overs of 1st day some of the balls kept low. Even if you people saw the cach of Cook which takes by 1st slip thats pretty down but Pakistani Keeper and slips remains far away which cost them in the shape of catch not carry to keeper of Morgen in his just start of his innings. In my opinion Test Cricket is not that you wait for batsman to mistake you have to go for pressure on the batsman. Same thing I have seen when in last test against Australia, while Ponting and Clark starts going on, no Pakistani fielders near to the batsman except one slip even when Kaneria Bowling and Asif troubled alot to Clark. Pakistani should think about their strategy how to out the batsman. They have to disturb the batsman so that he made mistake.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    I think there are still problems with the UDRS. It is harsh that you can lose an appeal on an LBW if the ball pitches in line, hits in line and is clipping one of the stumps. If it is clearly missing the stumps, then fair enough. Pakistan will have to play very well to win or draw now, because Kamran, Danish and Umar Gull have undone the good work of Aamir, Asif and Shoaib Malik.

  • kamran on July 30, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Isnt kamran Akmal the most annoying wicket keeper of ALL TIME...He drops catches and then he screams too much...He has given me a headache....I am not even watching the game because of the voice....Tell me if i have gone too far with kamran bashing...but even if he scores a double hundred it wont make a difference...a TEST wicket keeper needs to take catches....

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    typical pakistan for u !!!!The man who is mainly responsible for pakistan's misery is Kamran Akmal. In addition to dropping sitters and missing stumpings, he's the man who decides the review, he didn't call for review when trott was plumb instead he wasted pakistan's reviews especially second one. Consequently the team couldnt ask for review when morgan was plumb LBW. Also due to his incompetence and poor confidence, he stays so far behind wickets that edges fall short. He drags slip fielders behind with him also. In short he reduces confidence of whole team, in particular the bowlers, But of course he wont be dropped. We know how he behaved after Sydney test. He's the vice-captain and apparently ijaz butt doesn't dislike him. Dr Arshad Srinagar

  • Iqbal on July 30, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    send kamran akmal home immediately if we can have any hope of winning. it is "only" because of him that england are at the top for the moment. He gave them the chances again and again and again.... pak selectors!! wake up please!!

  • Gilbert on July 30, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    Definitely, this guy Eoin has to be on the plane to Australia. Have been watching this gury for some time now and he is all class. He has adapted to the highest level very quickly and brims with confidence. A permanent place in the team is just what he needs and I feel that there is no other batsman of his calibre to replace him at the moment. This is the guy will hold the innings together if Pietersen fail. Moreover he is a good player of pace bowling and places the ball very well. The Australian tour is just what he needs to further imorove his game. Got to wish this guy the best of luck. I just can't wait to see Eoin play at the SCG here in Sydney.

  • Wasif on July 30, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Pak's bowling performance wasn't at it's best on the first day specially in the 2nd and 3rd session, except Amir who plyed the roll from one end while Asif and Gul weren't effective as they normally do, Kaneria was also rusty and the worst of all was Kamran Akmal, fans have all the rights to balme Kamran Akmal if Pak looses the game.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    I was expecting that performance by England, because they are much better side than Aussies. They r playing at their home conditions so i think Pakistan will struggle in this series. Morgan, oh boy he played wonderful knock, when ever his team in trouble he always do well. Now for Pakistan i think the game is over, now England can't lose that match,, the only thing is how Pakistan will survive now. England are going to score 450+ and i think at that time it will be over For Salman Butt & Co.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    I was expecting that performance by England, because they are much better side than Aussies. They r playing at their home conditions so i think Pakistan will struggle in this series. Morgan, oh boy he played wonderful knock, when ever his team in trouble he always do well. Now for Pakistan i think the game is over, now England can't lose that match,, the only thing is how Pakistan will survive now. England are going to score 450+ and i think at that time it will be over For Salman Butt & Co.

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