Jimmy Anderson, England's budding new all-rounder, refused to get carried away with a match position which already has home fans believing that a first Ashes win against Australia at Lord's since 1934 is on the cards this weekend.
Anderson, who contributed 29 to a last wicket stand of 47 with Graham Onions to continue an impressive run of success with the bat, walked away with figures of four for 36 last night as Australia finished on 156 for eight, still 70 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.
"It couldn't have gone much better," said tailender Anderson, who has now passed 20 in three consecutive innings and already has his best Ashes bowling figures. No wonder the Duke of Edinburgh, who accompanied the Queen to Lord's yesterday and was introduced to both teams at lunchtime, told Anderson: "Well done, you've had a good morning."
But no doubt the royal visitors appreciate just how difficult it can be to force a victory at Lord's. And Anderson is under no illusions.
"We know how hard it can be to get 20 wickets here, there is a lot of hard work ahead of us," he said. "We've had a couple of good days but that will mean nothing if we don't kick on again."
Anderson continued to take wickets despite having his left ankle strapped up yesterday while Kevin Pietersen spent the final session off the field following more problems with an Achilles injury which is looking increasingly serious.
But it is the bowlers captain Andrew Strauss will be looking at today if the follow-on opportunity presents itself. "It is tricky to comment because we have to see how all the bowlers are, assess the conditions and then decide," said Anderson.
It has been so far, so good for England, following their great escape in Cardiff last week. "We were in a pretty tricky position but we managed to get something out of that game," said Anderson, who batted out the final 69 balls of the first Test with last man Monty Panesar to earn the draw.
And as for the bowling, he had strong words of praise for his new ball partner, Andrew Flintoff.
"We spoke about bowling better in partnerships and 'Fred' can take as much of the credit as me for the first two wickets," said Anderson who dismissed opener Phillip Hughes and then captain Ricky Ponting with the new ball.
Flintoff steamed in at 90 mph and above, eventually being rewarded for his efforts with the wicket of Mike Hussey, Australia's No 4.Reuse content