Eoin Morgan rescues England against Pakistan on Day One
Eoin Morgan’s maiden Test match hundred led England away from trouble on day one of the first Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
Morgan and Paul Collingwood came together with the score at 118-4. At the end of the day the pair left the field both unbeaten with their fine partnership of 213 sparing England’s pride.
Andrew Strauss won the toss and opted to bat. The Pakistan attack struggled throughout the day with Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif failing to back up the efforts of starlet Mohammad Amir.
Pakistan were fresh from a superb victory over Australia at Headingley however they appeared surprisingly flat as the day’s play began. Only Amir displayed the energy and enthusiasm of a player that had just enjoyed a Test match triumph.
Alistair Cook soon departed for just eight before Strauss and Jonathan Trott took advantage of some modest bowling.
Danish Kaneria in particular failed to use the dry spinning wicket to his advantage. The leg spinner conceded 100 runs from 21 overs with no maidens bowled.
Kevin Pietersen’s well-documented return to the Test arena showed a player well short of match practice. He had made himself available to play for Hampshire last week, but they opted not to select him on the back of his decision to quit the county at the end of the season.
Asif enjoyed more success when he took the wicket of Pietersen. When Trott was bowled lbw by Amir, England were reeling at 118-4.
Once again the reliable Collingwood set off on another rescue mission alongside Morgan, the latter playing with the added pressure of attempting to secure his Ashes place.
The pair battled well as Pakistan upped their game and exerted some consistent pressure. But in typical Collingwood fashion he batted through. Just as impressive was Morgan, who showed the temperament many have asked for in proving he can make the step up to Test level.
Morgan brought up his maiden Test hundred with a powerful six down the ground, planting himself firmly in the minds of the selectors with an innings of such maturity, while dealing with considerable pressure from the opposition.
The day petered out after Morgan’s century and Pakistan were desperate for the close of play. Despite taking the new ball, Amir could not galvanise his side as he had done in the morning.
Kamran Akmal’s performance behind the stumps was a major factor in the day’s play.
After dropping Andrew Strauss early on the wicket keeper made a number of errors which aided a poor fielding display from the tourists. He went on to miss a regulation stumping which would have removed Collingwood before reaching his 20th Test fifty.
The pair took their partnership past 200 with three overs remaining. Both batsmen ending the day unbeaten, Collingwood 19 runs short of his hundred and Morgan on 125.