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Morgan ton puts England on top against Pakistan

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-28 21:23:17
Morgan ton puts England on top against Pakistan

NOTTINGHAM: Eoin Morgan`s maiden Test hundred was key to England`s revival against Pakistan as they made 331 for four by stumps on the first day of their series opener at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Former Ireland left-hander Morgan was 125 not out, having never even made a fifty in his previous two innings at this level, both against Bangladesh earlier in the English season.

Together with Paul Collingwood (81 not out), he shared an England record fifth wicket stand against Pakistan of 213 unbroken, surpassing the 192 put on by Trevor Bailey and Denis Compton at Trent Bridge back in 1954, after the side had been in trouble at 118 for four.

Middlesex middle-order batsman Morgan reached his hundred in style with a straight driven six against off-spinner Shoaib Malik as he completed a 151-ball century, also featuring 16 fours, in just over three hours at the crease.

"I have learned (from the two previous Tests) to score more runs and be more greedy," Morgan told Sky Sports.

"But for me and Colly to come and get a partnership like that, we`re really happy with today`s play.

"In the circumstances (118 for four) the ball was in Pakistan`s court. It did a bit early on and asked a lot of questions."

However, Morgan had modern technology to thank for avoiding being dismissed on five and then 78 on the first day of a four-Test series.

The 23-year-old was in single figures when wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal appealed for a catch off left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Aamer.

But even before the third umpire ruled in Morgan`s favour, boos rang round Trent Bridge as replays on the giant screen showed the ball had bounced into the keeper`s gloves.

Morgan was in sight of a century when the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS), being used in England for the first time, came to his rescue.

He got an lbw decision given by Sri Lanka`s Asoka de Silva off the bowling of leg-spinner Danish Kaneria overturned after replays showed the ball sliding past leg stump.

Morgan came in after England had lost two wickets for two runs in five balls -- including star batsman Kevin Pietersen who was out for just nine in his first match since a thigh injury against Australia in a one-day international at Lord`s on July 3.

But England fought back although Collingwood should have been out for 48 when Kamran Akmal, who had a poor first day, missed a routine stumping chance off leg-spinner Kaneria.

Collingwood went on to complete a 114-ball fifty with six fours.

Pakistan wasted both their two permitted unsuccessful DRS challenges on appeals in successive Mohammad Asif overs for lbw and caught behind against Pietersen. But Asif then bowled Pietersen off the inside edge.

England`s other South Africa-born batsman, Jonathan Trott, had added just three to his lunchtime 35 when he padded up to an inswinger from Aamer, who led the attack with an impressive three wickets for 39 runs from 19 overs.

But, having succeeded with an earlier referral, Trott saw replays confirm New Zealand umpire Tony Hill`s lbw verdict.

England`s fifth-wicket pair cashed in against Pakistan`s slow bowlers and Morgan made it six boundaries in 12 deliveries with a trademark reverse sweep off Kaneria.

Before lunch the 18-year-old Aamer, who took seven wickets in Pakistan`s dramatic three-wicket second Test win over Australia at Headingley last week, had Alastair Cook caught at first slip and saw Strauss, who had been dropped by Kamran Akmal on 15, caught behind for 45.

Trott then became the first batsman to use DRS in England when, on 13, he was given out, lbw to Kaneria, by de Silva only for replays to show he`d got an inside edge.

Pakistan players wore black armbands in memory of the 152 people killed after an airplane crashed near the capital city of Islamabad on Wednesday.

BDST: 2241 HRS, JULY 29, 2010

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