Trott and Broad rally bril­liantly af­ter Amir tears Eng­land apart

Eighth wicket stand res­cues shaken hosts

The Scotsman - - Sfl In Focus - daVId CLOugH

.JONAtHAN trott and Stu­art Broad’s cen­turies trans­formed Eng­land’s for­tunes on a day of per­sonal land­marks at Lord’s, which be­gan with Mo­ham­mad Amir threat­en­ing to bowl the hosts out cheaply.

In­stead, af­ter lurch­ing at one stage to a per­ilous 47 for five, Eng­land were res­cued by a record un­bro­ken stand of 244 – the best by any­one for the eighth wicket against Pak­istan – be­tween trott (149 not out) and Broad (125no) in a stumps to­tal of 346 for seven on day two of the fourth npower test.

Both passed 1,000 test runs in the course of their in­nings, Broad on his way to a maiden first-class cen­tury and trott lit­tle more than a year af­ter his Ashes-clinch­ing de­but at the Oval.

Yet it was Amir (six for 73) who had made the first bid for the head­lines when he be­came the youngest bowler ever to 50 test wick­ets and only the sec­ond Pak­istani to take six in an in­nings on the hal­lowed turf.

As Eng­land re­cov­ered from a rash of mid­dle-or­der ducks at the hands of Amir, in a match Pak­istan must win to square the se­ries 2-2, this was a day to in­trigue the purists as well as de­light the statis­ti­cians. At a venue where trott made a dou­ble-hun­dred against Bangladesh ear­lier this sum­mer, he re­sponded with a 195-ball cen­tury in which he alone – un­til Broad moved into out­right counter-at­tack – had the mas­tery of Amir.

trott used the crease and ad­vanced out of his ground to try to negate Amir’s swing un­der ini­tial heavy cloud cover in an in­nings which was to be pep­pered with his trade­mark, straight-bat clips to leg off the back foot.

Broad, by con­trast, stood tall to strike the ball on top of the bounce through the off side and down the ground in a part­ner­ship which more than tre­bled the to­tal from 102 for seven.

Eng­land’s pros­per­ity – be­gun by trott and Matt Prior in an im­por­tant 50 stand for the sixth wicket – was un­think­able when 18-year-old Amir was wreak­ing havoc in the first 20 min­utes of the day.

Be­ly­ing his age to make such telling use of con­di­tions and tame the Lord’s slope like an old hand, the left-armer took four wick­ets for no runs in eight balls. Af­ter trott and Prior had ap­par­ently drawn his sting, Amir then re­turned to take two wick­ets in an over im­me­di­ately af­ter lunch, bring­ing Broad out to join Eng­land’s num­ber three.

Kevin Pietersen con­tin­ued his wor­ry­ing run of form with a golden duck – his the first of suc­ces­sive noughts from bats­men four, five and six.

Pietersen was the odd man out in that he con­trib­uted much to his own down­fall, rather than be­ing prised out by a de­liv­ery of the high­est class. He sim­ply drove at a wide, swinging ball from Amir and got an oblig­ing edge be­hind – safely col­lected by Kamran Ak­mal.

the Pak­istan wick­et­keeper, one of sev­eral less than re­li­able catch­ers in the tourists’ ranks this sum­mer, had al­ready done the de­cent thing from the fi­nal ball of the pre­vi­ous over when Amir got one to go down the slope from the pavil­ion end to have Alastair Cook also caught be­hind.

Paul Colling­wood sur­vived the hat­trick ball but got lit­tle fur­ther be­fore a re­view of Billy Bow­den’s not-out lbw de­ci­sion proved Amir had swung the ball past the bat and in line.

trott, not out overnight, wit­nessed from the non-striker’s end yet an­other col­lapse in a se­ries which has been full of them. Eoin Mor­gan pushed de­fen­sively at more swing from Amir to edge to sec­ond slip and fall – like Colling­wood – to the third ball he faced.

then Prior was might­ily close to mak­ing it four ducks but stood his ground when Umar Amin’s low catch from a speared drive at Amir in the gully could not be proven to be clean by in­con­clu­sive footage.

Prior and trott showed sur­vival at least could be achieved with skil­ful bat­ting and some luck, un­til the lat­ter fol­lowed one that held its line from Amir to be caught be­hind.

Graeme Swann took just two balls to make it four ducks for Eng­land af­ter all – driv­ing Amir, as Prior had two-anda-half hours ear­lier, low to gully where there were no doubts this time about Azhar Ali’s catch.

trott was past his 1,000 test runs by then, but it will clearly take many more to sat­isfy him. He and Broad grad­u­ally soft­ened up the vis­i­tors’ at­tack, and as skies bright­ened, Lord’s pre­dictably flat­tened. When Amir switched to the nurs­ery end just be­fore tea, he was dis­patched by Broad for six over the heads of two bound­ary field­ers set there for the hook.

By the time the sec­ond new ball was avail­able, deep into the evening ses­sion, Broad was well on the way to a hun­dred which put him in an elite club of crick­eters whose first three-fig­ure score has come at the high­est level.

On reach­ing his hun­dred, Jonathan trott is con­grat­u­lated by Stu­art Broad dur­ing the pair’s record part­ner­ship

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