The Fourth Test was thrown into turmoil last night after Pakistan were accused of being part of a betting scam. With events on the field having moved irrevocably England's way, the tourists were apparently revealed to have agreed to fix certain parts of the match by the deliberate bowling of no-balls.
The allegations were made in the News of the World hours after England, from a position of utter calamity on the second morning, found themselves in complete control of the Test. All in all, it was a typical day for Pakistan.
Within hours of the close – the match already as good as lost – they stood accused of fixing certain elements of it, though not the result itself. It was precisely what the game in general and Pakistan in particular did not need.
Players from top to bottom were implicated in the scam, from the refreshing new captain, Salman Butt, to the teenage fast-bowling sensation, Mohammad Aamer. It was reported that Pakistan had agreed to bowl no-balls at certain named times in England's first innings with both Aamer and fellow fast bowler, Mohammad Asif, reported to have done so.
The wonderful feats in the game, not least by Aamer, were overshadowed. England, having been 47 for 5 and then 102 for 7, established a first-innings lead of 372. That had been recued to 331 by the close but then Pakistan had only six second-innings wickets left.
The match had been changed irretrievably by England's eighth-wicket pair, Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad, who broke the world Test record with a partnership of 332 which lasted for six and a half hours. It was long enough to break Pakistan's resolve and quell their spirit.
The tourists had seen their huge initial advantage disappear, their dreams of levelling this series at 2-2 turn to dust. It was almost to be expected that they would be bowled out cheaply and the 74 they mustered was the third time in the four-match rubber they had succumbed for fewer than a hundred. Their qualms about the light and the position of the Nursery End sightscreen were flimsy pieces of evidence for the defence.
A collapse waiting to happen was how Steve Finn, England's tyro fast, bowler had put it, and during 33 disastrous overs nobody was summoning the strength for an argument. The last seven wickets went for 28 in 11 overs after tea and they were to lose another four after that.
Four men – Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, captain Butt and Mohammad Yousuf – had been out twice in four hours. There was movement for the seamers and excessive spin for Graeme Swann, and England bowled perfectly adequately, but mostly the bats had white flags attached.
Their second innings followed the same dismal course. When the day ended Pakistan were 41 for 4, their top four all removed. By this stage, it was difficult to watch or to believe. On that second morning when Mohammad Aamer was making the ball talk, Pakistan had been on top of the world and now here they were a day later in a pitiful heap, beaten and woeful.
The morning, the afternoon and the evening all belonged to England. Indeed, they had lost only one session in the match but that was by such a catastrophic margin that Pakistan seemed to be charting a course for victory. Test matches are frequently determined by what happens in the first innings and England were heading down the plughole.
But when play began yesterday they were already in the ascendancy. Trott and Broad, both with hundreds to their name – the former his second at Lord's this year, the latter only the third by an England No 9 – immediately continued from where they had left off.
Trott was studious, determined and resolute in not playing a shot in anger unless he was absolutely sure he could deal with it. This was a great innings, carved out of the depths of desperation with grit and honesty. His preparation and sometimes his method are maddening but his single-mindedness is captivating.
In a contrasting fashion, Broad was equally decisive, the hallmark of good batting, standing tall in the crease. Finally, they overhauled the 313 shared by Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq, the highest eighth-wicket stand in all Tests. Broad was so effective by now that he was in serious danger of catching Trott, who merely stuck to his original specifications.
Broad's last act was to overtake the highest score made in Tests by his father Chris, 162. Within four of Ian Smith's 173, the highest score by a No 9 in Tests, he was out leg before, though only after Pakistan asked for a review of the not-out decision.
If it has been another good match for the review system, it has been an indifferent one for the art of umpiring. It is one thing to have reviews go against you - that can happen to anyone - but another to constantly confer about this, that and the other as Billy Bowden and Tony Hill did.
With Broad departed, Trott's dogged progress to his second double-hundred at Lord's this summer no longer seemed quite so unimpeded. He needed both Jimmy Anderson and Steve Finn to stay around and to get a move on. In the event, Anderson was out and Trott, attempting to cut a dash, flailed one behind.
Not that it mattered. Trott had already made an indelible mark on English cricket history, something that his South African antecedents can never erode. There was, in a way, no point in prolonging Pakistan's agony, though there would be plenty more of it to come.
They were three wickets down by the end of the sixth over as Anderson and Broad made early inroads with the new ball. Broad's swinging yorker to remove Yousuf was delightful.
In the final session, 11 wickets fell in short order; seven in the first innings, four in the second. Swann was made to seem unplayable at times, Finn's height perplexed the batsmen. The second innings was an accident waiting to happen. It will be over today, probably before lunch – if it starts.
11.05am: Stand taller than others
The partnership for the eighth wicket becomes England's highest of all time, passing the 244 shared by Les Ames and Gubby Allen in 1931.
11.30am: Records fall, not wickets
Now it's the highest stand for any England wicket against Pakistan, overtaking Michael Vaughan and Graham Thorpe's 267 in 2001.
12.20pm: Broad smiles all round
Stuart Broad serenely cover-drives for four and the stand becomes the largest for the eighth wicket in all Tests, beating the 313 put on by Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq against Zimbabwe in 1996.
12.32pm: Simply Stu-pendous
After a review called by Pakistan, Broad is out lbw. The stand is worth 332 from 584 balls and his innings is the second highest by a No 9 in Tests.
1.50pm: Trott brought to a halt
Trott, within 16 of becoming the first man to score two double hundreds at Lord's, is out caught behind but only after the umpires confer.
2.18pm: Broad range of skills
Yasir Hameed edges to slip eight minutes into Pakistan's first innings. It's that man Broad again.
2.29pm: Yorker is a corker
Broad dismisses Mohammad Yousuf with a sizzling, swinging yorker.
4.29pm: Sight for sore eyes
Umar Akmal, complaining about the sightscreen, is yorked by Steven Finn. Two balls later, Mohammad Aamer fails to pick up a full toss and the first innings swiftly unravels.
5.20pm: Here we go, here we go
Farhat starts the procession again.
6.23pm: Pull the other one
Mohammad Yousuf is caught in the deep pulling Finn and the umpires decide it's too dark under the lights.
Pakistan won toss
England – First innings (Overnight 346-7)
I J L Trott c Kamran Akmal b Wahab Riaz (383 balls, 19 fours) 184
S C J Broad lbw b Saeed Ajmal (297 balls, 18 fours, 1 six) 169
J M Anderson c Yasir Hameed b Saeed Ajmal (14 balls, 1 four) 6
S T Finn not out (1 ball) 0
Extras (b 4, lb 17, w 7, nb 14) 42
Total (139.2 overs) 446
Fall (cont) 8-434 (Broad), 9-446 (Anderson), 10-446 (Trott).
Bowling Mohammad Aamer 28-6-84-6, Mohammad Asif 29-6-97-1, Wahab Riaz 27.2-4-92-1, Saeed Ajmal 44-5-126-2, Yasir Hameed 1-1-0-0, Imran Farhat 10-1-26-0.
Pakistan – First innings
Imran Farhat c Prior b Anderson (21 balls, 1 four) 6
Yasir Hameed c Swann b Broad (6 balls) 2
*Salman Butt b Swann (58 balls, 4 fours) 26
Mohammad Yousuf b Broad (4 balls) 0
Azhar Ali c Cook b Swann (47 balls, 1 four) 10
Umar Akmal b Finn (22 balls, 1 four) 6
†Kamran Akmal c Prior b Finn (21 balls, 2 fours) 13
Mohammad Aamer lbw b Finn (2 balls) 0
Wahab Riaz lbw b Swann (12 balls) 2
Saeed Ajmal not out (1 ball, 1 four) 4
Mohammad Asif c and b Swann (5 balls) 0
Extras (lb 4, nb 1) 5
Total (33 overs) 74
Fall 1-9 (Yasir Hameed), 2-9 (Imran Farhat), 3-10 (Mohammad Yousuf), 4-46 (Salman Butt), 5-53 (Azhar Ali), 6-57 (Umar Akmal), 7-57 (Mohammad Amir), 8-70 (Kamran Akmal), 9-74 (Wahab Riaz), 10-74 (Mohammad Asif).
Bowling J M Anderson 10-6-10-1, S C J Broad 6-4-10-2, S T Finn 9-4-38-3, G P Swann 8-3-12-4.
Pakistan – Second innings
Imran Farhat c Cook b Broad (12 balls, 1 four) 5
Yasir Hameed lbw b Anderson (14 balls) 3
*Salman Butt lbw b Swann (45 balls, 3 fours) 21
Mohammad Yousuf c Trott b Finn (19 balls, 1 four) 10
Azhar Ali not out (4 balls) 0
Extras (b 1, lb 1) 2
Total (4 wkts, 15.3 overs) 41
Fall 1-7 (Imran Farhat), 2-9 (Yasir Hameed), 3-41 (Salman Butt), 4-41 (Mohammad Yousuf).
To bat Umar Akmal, †Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Asif
Bowling J M Anderson 5-3-6-1, S C J Broad 4-1-9-1, S T Finn 3.3-0-19-1, G P Swann 3-1-6-1.
Umpires B F Bowden (NZ) and A L Hill (NZ).
TV Umpire S J Davis (Aus).
Referee R S Madugalle (SL).