England v Pakistan, 4th npower Test, Lord's, 2nd day August 27, 2010

Grand fightback ruins Amir's party


Nadir of the day
"I've got to look at the positives and drag my confidence up, which has been hammered in the last 18 months. I'm nowhere near the person I used to be but I've got to keep trying to work at it." Those were Kevin Pietersen's words on the eve of the Lord's Test, as he poured his heart out to Mike Atherton in an interview for Sky Sports. Unfortunately for Pietersen, his quest for redemption is far from over yet, after a horrible dismissal that raised a whole new host of doubts about his mindset. After arriving at the crease a mere three balls into the day, KP watched from the non-striker's end as Mohammad Asif sent down a maiden, but rather than afford himself a sighter in prodigious swinging conditions, he flung a wild drive at an outswinger from Mohammad Amir, and snicked his first ball to the keeper. The atmosphere as he returned to the pavilion was reminiscent of Ian Botham's infamous pair in 1981 - with none of the members quite knowing where to look.

Bowler of the day
Amir's astounding onslaught ripped the guts out of England's innings, as he claimed 4 for 0 with his first ten balls of the day, and in the process inflicted ducks on England's No. 4, 5 and 6 - for the first time in the team's Test history. But his most notable dismissal, for a number of reasons, came in the second over of his post-lunch spell, as Matt Prior's plucky resistance was ended by another well-directed outswinger. Amir sunk to his knees to perform a celebratory sajda, as well he might. He had completed his second five-wicket haul in the space of six days - to become, at 18 years and 136 days - the youngest man to etch his name on the Lord's honours board. In the same breath, he overtook Daniel Vettori to become the youngest bowler to reach 50 Test wickets, and celebrated the achievement two balls later by inflicting England's fourth duck of the innings on Graeme Swann.

Anchor of the day
England's batting coach, Graham Gooch, yesterday suggested that England's batsmen had forgotten the art of building Test innings, but one man in the top six was totally exempt of that charge today. Jonathan Trott's ponderous batting style has had its detractors of late, not least in the last Lord's Test against Bangladesh when he ground along to a career-best 226. But today the value of a man who puts a price on his wicket was plain for all to see. With impeccable judgment and a calm assurance on the front foot, Trott arrested the rot in England's middle order, notched up his third Test century and in the process went past 1000 runs in Test cricket. This is his 23rd innings, putting him equal with Mike Atherton and Kevin Pietersen, among other notable England batsmen.

Impetus of the day
Stuart Broad's backfoot cover-drive was once likened by Geoffrey Boycott to that of Garry Sobers, but his batting had been in the doldrums of late, with just 106 runs in 11 innings since the Ashes, until he rediscovered his rhythm with a combative 48 at The Oval last week. Suitably emboldened, he put his recent troubles behind him with a brilliantly belligerent maiden first-class hundred, one that was greeted with a raucous standing ovation from an absorbed Lord's crowd. On 88, he had gone past his father, Chris, to become the highest-scoring Broad in a Test at Lord's, having already, on 73, emulated Trott in passing the 1000-run mark. It's not inconceivable that he could complete the double in this Test as well. He is currently on 94 Test wickets, and so needs six in the match to become the 11th Englishman to reach the mark, and the first since Ashley Giles and Andrew Flintoff, who brought up their 1000 and 100 in the same Cape Town Test in January 2005.

Partnership of the day
In a series marked by stunning batting capitulations, Broad and Trott's eighth-wicket alliance has the look of a match-seizing moment. So far in the series there have been just seven century stands - compared to 60 in single figures - and by the close the pair had eclipsed Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood's 219 at Trent Bridge. It was the second time in consecutive Tests that Broad had been involved in a 100-run stand for the eighth wicket, having added 119 with Matt Prior at The Oval, and by the close, their stand was sandwiched at No. 2 in England's all-time standings for the eighth wicket, between those involving Gubby Allen and John Murray, the only other England No.9s to make a Test match century.

Reprieves of the day
It was rather a case of horses and stable doors, but when the part-time legspinner Imran Farhat found Broad's edge twice in consecutive deliveries in the 101st over of the innings, the reaction of Yasir Hameed at slip summed up the extent to which Pakistan's morale had been battered. The first snick flew at a catchable height straight past his left hand and away for four, the second looped up off a leading edge and was fumbled as Hameed dived across to gather. Broad had been on 121 at the time, and he had added just one run to that total when Saeed Ajmal successfully appealed for lbw. Broad, however, correctly decided to use his review, and Ajmal was distinctly dischuffed to discover that the ball would have been sliding down the leg side.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    This guy Broad is a super cricketer-genuine allrounder,so much ability. It does not surprise me what he has done and, if he repeats it again and again !

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    All of us Pakistanis are saying brilliant day of Test cricket but we should realize how weird it is to give up the advantage when Broad hits a century. I am a Pakistani fan but even I would have stood up and clapped for Trott though.

  • Adam on August 28, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    This is what test cricket is all about ups and downs swings and round-a-bouts. If pakistan could actually back up their bowlers theyd be in a stronger position... and if englands pampered top order did their job they wouldnt have been in such dire straits earlier on. full credit to pakistans new ball pair though.

  • Clive on August 27, 2010, 22:11 GMT

    Best day's test cricket in England since 2005. That year's matches were heart-stopping thrillers, though -- this was more of an old-fashioned day's test cricket: ball dominates bat in the morning, a gritty rearguard follows in the afternoon, followed by a run-spree in the evening sunshine. It was a pleasure to watch. Well played, both teams.

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Good come back by England it is gouing to be very intersting game

  • Sri on August 27, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    I do not feel that Pak should lose heart here. Stranger things have happened in Test cricket - Just try to get the 3 wickets within the first hour tomorrow and play enough to get a lead of 225-250 (1.5 - 2 days) with 2 hours remaining for the 4th day (try to get 2-3 wickets then). Hopefully you will get the final day to wrap up the english - after all, 3-1 result is the same as a 2-1 result. You will need to show all heart in your bowling (which you are known for) and all brain and a little heart in batting (hopefully). As an Indian, we have seen India pull some things like those against Aus or SA from time to time, no reason why Pak cannot pull off the same. Younis double century bet, anyone?

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    The test is most likely to draw

  • Ahmad on August 27, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Its good fight back from England.... Cant blame bowlers much. Trott was splendid today and looks like only batsman who can survive against moving ball

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    Great Test match. Brilliant bowling by Mohammed Amir, outstanding batting by Trott and Broad. Would that more Tests could be as gripping and as back-and-forth as this one.

  • ENGR on August 27, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    it is almost to be a draw match as already two days have been bowled and england will win the series by 2-1. and once again the poor captaincy showed that you gonna be very unlucky to get a wicket in overcast condition and also with the new ball as well

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