Stuart Broad yesterday put himself in exalted company as one of just seven men in the history of Test cricket with a five-wicket haul and a century at Lord’s on their CV.
Broad’s 6-72 on day one of the Investec series against the West Indies helped restrict the tourists to 243-9, despite Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s unbeaten 87.
It also put him in the same bracket as his former team-mate Andrew Flintoff, and England’s greatest all-rounder Ian Botham – among others – following his career-best 169 against Pakistan at the home of cricket two years ago.
Broad is delighted with his own performance, and England’s too so far here.
“Following ‘Freddie’ and ‘Beefy’ in the England dressing room is a huge honour,” he said.
“But more important is to have got nine wickets on the first day of the Test.
“Winning the toss and bowling, you’re thinking can you bowl them out for a hundred?
“But you know Lord’s is never like that. It’s a bit of a patience game.
“We were aiming for seven wickets in the day ... to pick up nine, we’re delighted.”
Broad was wicketless in the first session, and it was James Anderson who deservedly fared best with the new ball.
“We probably didn’t start as well as we could have done, with the standards we set,” said Broad.
“Certainly I got driven too much, which probably came from the wicket being a lot slower than we imagined at the start – so we were probably searching for a nick.
“But the thing that pleased me most about (yesterday) is that, after I didn’t start that well in the first session, I managed to drag my length just a little bit back to make it more dangerous to drive. Maybe a couple of years ago, I didn’t have the wisdom to do that.”
Opener Kieran Powell had made only five when Anderson got his first look at him, and worked him over expertly.
A succession of deliveries moved down the slope from the pavilion end – Powell played-and-missed once – before Anderson brought one back superbly to bemuse his victim and hit off-stump.
Adrian Barath lost his second partner to Anderson, who capped his first spell by pinning Kirk Edwards lbw as he shaped to push across the ball, but he found a new ally in Darren Bravo.
Barath was finally out when he threw the bat at a wide ball, and fell to a very good head-high catch by Anderson at the second attempt in the gully.
Bravo ought to have gone to Anderson, but Graeme Swann put down a regulation catch at second slip. The drop was not costly, Bravo – who had added only two runs from 30 balls in almost an hour since lunch – the fall guy in a run-out mix-up with Chanderpaul.
England were then shut out for the rest of the session as Chanderpaul adopted his trademark immovability alongside Marlon Samuels in an 81-run stand.
Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan, who started with four consecutive maidens, filled a holding role. But before tea, England were definitely on to Plan B – with two overs of Jonathan Trott’s medium-pace.
Chanderpaul reached his 50 from 102 balls in early evening, but was to soon find himself batting with the tail after Broad struck twice in the space of six balls.
Samuels, who had taken 45 balls before driving his first boundary, grew in confidence only to throw his hands at a wide delivery from the same bowler and be neatly-caught by Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow, on debut, at point.
Then Denesh Ramdin could hardly be blamed for edging to slip when Broad produced an awkward delivery that left the batsman and kicked off the pitch from short of a length.
Chanderpaul would have become Swann’s first wicket, on 62, had England reviewed a not-out lbw decision from Erasmus.
It was a surprise to many when Hawkeye demonstrated he was hit in line after all, Chanderpaul the winner again in an innings which could be defined by his survival on three occasions via narrow deliberations over lbw and DRS.
Broad was disappointed too when he chose to review against Chanderpaul with the second new ball – Aleem Dar vindicated, because it pitched outside leg.
In the same over, there was some consolation when Darren Sammy aimed to leg yet edged to gully.
Broad had his fifth wicket via a return catch from Kemar Roach, before snapping up Fidel Edwards caught-behind from the last ball of the day. But there was still no shifting Chanderpaul.
“Shiv has played very well against us again, and we don’t want him to get a hundred,” said Broad.
“But sometimes you’ve just got to take your hat off and say ‘Well played’. He did play fantastically. But the most important thing now is we don’t let them get away from us.
“It’s 240-odd. But 260 or 270 suddenly looks a bit more daunting, so it’s important as a bowling unit we get it right (today) – don’t let Shiv keep the strike. Keeping the No 11 on strike is crucial for us.”
Like Broad, West Indies opener Barath was full of praise for the tourists’ world No 1 batsman.
“Someone who has scored more than 10,000 Test runs, and averaging close to 70 in England, lends us his experience about playing here,” he said.
“He talks about playing a bit later, leaving the ball, picking the areas and having a lot of patience.”
While many of the West Indies batsmen were struggling here in tough conditions, former captain Chris Gayle yesterday smashed an Indian Premier League hundred for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Barath, however, was not permitted – under team orders – to answer a question about the absence of Gayle, who made himself unavailable for this series.