Ian Bell showed his determination to remain within the England set-up yesterday when he scored his third Test hundred on the second day of the first Test against Pakistan. Bell completed his century, the 100th scored by an England batsman at Lord's, with a scampered single to wide mid-on, giving Andrew Strauss the ideal opportunity to declare his side's first innings closed on 528 for 9 and have 19 overs at the Pakistan batsmen.
Strauss's decision to get at the Pakistan top order proved to be a wise one as the tourists lost three important wickets for the addition of 66 runs before the close. It could hardly be said that Stephen Harmison was at his best but, none the less, he claimed two scalps in a fiery seven-over spell.
Salman Butt was the first to perish when he drove loosely at a widish length ball and was well caught by Strauss at second slip. Then, two balls later, Harmison produced a brute of a delivery that reared off a length and flew at the throat of Faisal Iqbal. There was little the batsman could do other than punch the ball and as it headed for the slips he must have though he was safe.
Paul Collingwood, however, had other ideas and leapt in the air to take a magnificent one-handed catch high above his head. The dismissal completed another memorable day for the Durham batsman, who had earlier scored a career-best 186.
Liam Plunkett finished a good evening for the North-east when he bowled Imran Farhat in the penultimate over of the day, a wicket that left England in complete control of the Test.
Bell had arrived at the crease knowing that he was unlikely to play in the second Test at Old Trafford in 13 days' time no matter how many runs he scored. Collingwood and Alastair Cook, the batsmen Bell is competing with for a place in the team, had scored 186 and 105 respectively, and Andrew Flintoff was taking another stride towards full fitness by having a hard work-out in the nets at the Nursery End of the ground.
But Bell failed to allow the performances and presence of those who will send him back to Warwickshire to distract him; in fact, he used it to his advantage. This knowledge seemed to loosen him up and he batted beautifully during the four and a quarter hours he spent at the crease.
Collingwood kept the 24-year-old company for a large part of the day and the pair added 120 for the fifth wicket. Bell, like Collingwood and Cook, is developing a passion for Asian bowling. He scored his maiden Test hundred against Bangladesh last summer and a second against Pakistan during the winter. His century brought England's innings tally to three, the first time this feat has been achieved since Strauss, Marcus Trescothick and Graham Thorpe each reached three figures in December 2004 at Durban.
Indifferent bowling by the tourists allowed Bell to get off to flyer. Sixteen of his first 18 runs came in boundaries with Mohammad Sami and Umar Gul each being clipped and driven for four. Collingwood accumulated runs at a healthy rate too and the 50 partnership was brought up off the 42 ball they faced.
When Collingwood bats spectators do not find themselves continually looking at the scoreboard. The lack of dazzling shots tends to make them feel that not a lot is happening, yet when you do look in its direction you are amazed to see how many runs he has scored.
On 131 Collingwood was fortunate to survive a legitimate caught behind appeal off Sami but, for the remainder of his stay, he appeared in total control. Within balls of this let-off he overtook his previous highest Test score of 134, and quickly passed 150. By lunch he had reached 179 and looked destined to become the seventh Englishman to score a Test double hundred at the home of cricket.
Unfortunately for Collingwood and England, the nature of the cricket changed after the interval. Pakistan's bowlers suddenly found the control they had been searching for in the morning and the scoring of runs became a challenge. Only 15 of them were added in 11 overs before Collingwood, on 186, overbalanced against Danish Kaneria and was stumped.
Many batsmen would have walked off cursing themselves for not having reached 200 but Collingwood, quite rightly, enjoyed the moment.
During his early years collecting runs for Durham in front of a handful of hardy spectators at Chester-le-Street he would have dreamt of leaving this wonderful arena to a standing ovation, and he acknowledged all four corners of the ground before reaching the pavilion.
Kaneria deserved his wicket. The leg-spinner bowled with skill and determination throughout England's innings and he is sure to pick up a good haul at some stage of the series.
Critics will be queuing up to bring Geraint Jones' Test career to an end following his dismissal for 18 yesterday. But the manner in which he got out actually highlighted why Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, wants him in the side.
England had been pottering along at one run an over before Collingwood was out and the innings was going nowhere. In such a situation it would have been easy for Jones to keep blocking and look after himself. But he did not. To Jones, the team come before the individual and he perished looking for the quick runs England needed.
Liam Plunkett, Matthew Hoggard and Stephen Harmison came and went as Bell moved towards three figures and it was left to Monty Panesar to see him home.
The six balls Panesar faced were eventful, but he got his partner there. Panesar looked a relieved man as Bell celebrated and he has plenty more hard work ahead of him on a pitch that is taking spin.
Scoreboard from Lord's
England won toss
England - First Innings
(Overnight: 309 for 3)
M E Trescothick c Kamran Akmal b Umar Gul 16
53 min, 36 balls, 2 fours
*A J Strauss lbw b Abdul Razzaq 30
60 min, 44 balls, 5 fours
A N Cook b Mohammad Sami 105
328 min, 279 balls, 10 fours
K P Pietersen lbw b Abdul Razzaq 21
27 min, 21 balls, 4 fours
P D Collingwood st Kamran Akmal b Danish Kaneria 186
439 min, 327 balls, 23 fours
I R Bell not out 100
255 min, 168 balls, 9 fours
ÝG O Jones lbw b Danish Kaneria 18
38 min, 30 balls, 1 four, 1 six
L E Plunkett c Imran Farhat b Danish Kaneria 0
8 min, 6 balls
M J Hoggard lbw b Shahid Afridi 13
37 min, 37 balls, 2 fours
S J Harmison run out (Mohammad Yousuf-Shahid Afridi TV replay) 2
12 min, 10 balls
M S Panesar not out 0
10 min, 6 balls
Extras (b8 w15 nb14) 37
Total (for 9 dec, 638 min, 158.3 overs) 528
Fall: 1-60 (Trescothick) 2-60 (Strauss) 3-88 (Pietersen) 4-321 (Cook) 5-441 (Collingwood) 6-469 (Jones) 7-473 (Plunkett) 8-515 (Hoggard) 9-525 (Harmison).
Bowling: Mohammad Sami 28-4-116-1 (nb4) (5-1-27-0, 3-0-12-0, 4-0-21-0, 6-2-9-0, 7-1-30-1, 3-0-17-0); Umar Gul 33-6-133-1 (nb7 w14) (8-1-33-1, 5-0-26-0, 6-2-17-0, 5-1-29-0, 8-2-16-0, 1-0-12-0); Abdul Razzaq 25-2-86-2 (nb1 w1) (8-1-32-2, 5-0-25-0, 4-1-3-0, 8-0-26-0); Danish Kaneria 52-6-119-3 (nb1) (14-0-37-0, 15-1-36-0, 4-0-12-0, 19-5-34-3); Shahid Afridi 19.3-0-63-1 (nb1) (1-0-6-0, 4-0-10-0, 2-0-7-0, 5-0-17-0, 4-0-12-0, 3.3-0-11-1); Imran Farhat 1-0-3-0.
Progress: Second day: New ball taken after 92.4 overs at 313-3. 350: 403 min, 98.2 overs. 400: 453 min, 111.3 overs. Lunch: 426-4 (Collingwood 179, Bell 43) 120 overs. 450: 541 min, 134.3 overs. Tea: 495-7 (Bell 75, Hoggard 8) 150 overs. 500: 606 min, 150.3 overs. Declaration at 4.35pm.
Cook's 50: 154 min, 123 balls, 5 fours. 100: 304 min, 259 balls, 9 fours. Collingwood's 50: 92 min, 65 balls, 7 fours. 100: 223 min, 157 balls, 12 fours. 150: 348 min, 236 balls, 20 fours. Bell's 50: 158 min, 105 balls, 6 fours. 100: 254 min,168 balls, 6 fours.
Pakistan - First Innings
Salman Butt c Strauss b Harmison 10
40 min, 28 balls, 1 four
Imran Farhat b Plunkett 33
80 min, 57 balls, 6 fours
Faisal Iqbal c Collingwood b Harmison 0
3 min, 2 balls
Mohammad Yousuf not out 20
42 min, 22 balls, 4 fours
Mohammad Sami not out 0
6 min, 5 balls
Extras (w3) 3
Total (for 3, 87 min, 19 overs) 66
Fall: 1-28 (Salman Butt) 2-28 (Faisal Iqbal) 3-65 (Imran Farhat).
To bat: *Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, ÝKamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria.
Bowling: Hoggard 7-1-27-0 (w1) (one spell); Harmison 8-2-15-2 (7-2-14-2, 1-0-1-0); Panesar 2-0-10-0; Plunkett 2-0-14-1 (w2) (one spell each).
Progress: Second day: 50: 70 min, 15.3 overs.
Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and S J A Taufel (Aus)
TV replay umpire: P J Hartley.
Match referee: R S Madugalle.Reuse content