England captain, Andrew Strauss, hit his first century of the Ashes 2009 series – indeed, the first for any Englishman – on the opening day of the second test at Lord’s, in the last over before tea.
The players retired for tea with the score at 255 for 2 after the Australian team claimed the wickets of Cook and Bopara both given out plumb LBW in the afternoon session.
Strauss made his century from 177 deliveries faced.
The England captain did not have things entirely his own way, though, and had to survive a caught and bowled attempt by spinner Nathan Hauritz when he was on 52, however, in retrospect, having left the field with a suspected dislocated finger, perhaps the Australian came out decidedly the worse of the two.
It is on such key events that test cricket matches do swing and, as Pietersen would go on to prove, some days luck seems to be on your side.
A little luck for the hosts had been a feature of the day’s play thus far, none more evident than when Kevin Pietersen joined the play following Bopara’s easy dismissal – he really is not looking like a world class number three right now – as KP looked to play some dangerous looking shots and narrowly kept his wicket intact on numerous occasions.
Pietersen ended the session on 22 runs from just 33 balls and looking as though he’ll either make a huge score, or get out any minute. The smart money would be on the latter result, though, and Pietersen will either need to reign in his attacking nature somewhat, or start timing the ball better in order to stop producing chances. Australian cricketers do not require many looks at catches before they take wickets.
England will hope this partnership can play through to the close of the opening day’s play in order to claim first day bragging rights on this flat track. The Australians, on the other hand, will consider a couple of evening wickets a fair result on a day when their bowlers have failed to fire with any consistency.