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August 27, 2010
England 346 for 7 (Trott 149*, Broad 125*, Amir 6-73) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
England staged one of the finest fightbacks seen in Test cricket as Jonathan Trott's magnificent hundred was follow by Stuart Broad's maiden first-class century, which became the highest score by an England No. 9, on a day of wonderfully fluctuating fortunes at Lord's. There was a dramatic start as Mohammad Amir took four wickets without conceding a run and when he added two more the hosts were 102 for 7, but Trott couldn't be shifted and alongside a resurgent Broad the pair added an unbroken 244 for the eighth-wicket to lead England to 346 for 7 from where they'll be confident of pushing for victory.
The partnership, which stands three runs away from setting a new England record for the eighth wicket and was also the best alliance of the series, came on the back of an unprecedented failure for the middle order. Never before had England's four, five and six been dismissed for ducks, as Amir ran riot under heavy cloud cover, and it was just the fifth time it had happened in Test history. However, by the end of the day that felt a distant memory after two outstanding centuries had hauled the home side off the floor. Broad's ton was just the third by an England No. 9 and when he reached 123 he passed Gubby Allen's record from 1931, while both he and Trott passed 1000 Test runs during their lengthy occupations.
Given the conditions and the position Trott faced after the collapse this innings has to rival his debut hundred against Australia as his finest hand and it was a model of how to build a Test innings when the ball dominates. Compared to his struggling team-mates Trott was rarely troubled which is a credit his technique and judgement because, at least during the first fifty, conditions remained heavily in favour of the bowlers. Unlike the others, who chased width or misjudged swing, Trott played late and tight to his body but when he did attack did so with conviction.
His driving was a particular highlight as he threaded gaps through the off side and punched straight back past the bowler, but his ability to work straight balls through midwicket meant there was no margin for error. He reached his hundred with a scampered single into the leg side - the partnership with Broad ran the fielders ragged - and he celebrated with justifiable excitement, which was matched by a relieved England balcony that had feared the worst a few hours earlier.
Broad's contribution, though, was equally immense as his batting revival which started last week at The Oval was carried to a new level and he finished as the dominant partner in the stand. He'd spent the early part of his innings regularly finding fielders with well-struck drives, but didn't let the frustration get to him and continued to keep the scoreboard ticking. He pulled Amir for six shortly before tea and tucked into a tiring attack during the final session.
He moved past his previous Test-best of 76 against South Africa in 2008 and into the 90s for just the second time in his first-class career, but managed to keep his composure as he lofted Saeed Ajmal over mid-off then tucked the first ball of Wahab Riaz's spell through midwicket to achieve what his father never did: a hundred at Lord's.
By now Pakistan were falling apart with misfields aplenty and a general lack of interest among many of the players. Salman Butt had gone on the defensive too early with England still in deep trouble after the seventh wicket fell and the support bowling of Riaz and Ajmal wasn't the same threat as at The Oval. Even when they thought the eighth-wicket stand had finally ended Ajmal's lbw against Broad was overturned.
It was an incredible turnaround by England who were lurching towards embarrassment during the morning session. The middle order was blown away in the blink of an eye as they slumped to 47 for 5 which included the first-ball dismissal of Kevin Pietersen.
Amir had three balls left in the interrupted over from the previous evening and he was in the action straight away when Cook edged a fine outswinger to Kamran Akmal. Most batsmen would have had a tough time in the conditions, but there was little excuse for Pietersen's horrid dismissal as he drove at a very wide delivery first ball and edged low to the wicketkeeper. He spoke yesterday about how his confidence has been 'hammered' in recent months and this was a shot to back-up those sentiments.
One of the great skills for a left-armer is to bring the ball back into the right-handers late to catch them on the crease and that's exactly how Amir dispatched Collingwood three balls later. He played half forward with bat and pad together and Billy Bowden initially declined the appeal, but Pakistan asked for a review and Hotspot showed contact with pad came fractionally before bat.
At this point England still hadn't added to their overnight score but Trott brought momentary relief with two boundaries off Mohammad Asif, the second a sweet cover drive which belied the difficulties batsmen were facing. However, in Amir's next over the slide resumed as Morgan's decline since his debut hundred continued when he edged low to second slip where Yasir Hameed held a sharp chance.
When Amir returned after lunch to remove Matt Prior, after a partial recovery in a stand of 55, and Graeme Swann reaching 150 would have been something of a success. The final outcome will have been beyond England's wildest expectations.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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