x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Morgan: I've proved nothing yet

Eoin Morgan passed his latest Test match trial with flying colours on day one of the first Test against Pakistan yesterday, but claimed he has proved nothing yet.

Eoin Morgan passed his latest Test match trial with flying colours on day one of the first Test against Pakistan yesterday, but claimed he has proved nothing yet. Morgan hit an unbeaten 125, his first hundred in only his third outing, in a match he was playing due to Ian Bell's injury. His knock was the key score in an imposing stumps total of 331 for four, Paul Collingwood chipping in with 81 not out in a match-turning fifth-wicket stand of 213. But despite going a long way to showing he is not merely a one-day player and booking his seat on the plane to Australia later this year, Morgan refused to say it was mission accomplished. "Absolutely not," he told Sky Sports 1. "I'm far from a Test match player and I have a lot to improve. I have to score runs consistently and I have to do that over a long period of time. "I have learned [from the two previous Tests] to score more runs and be more greedy. But for me and Colly to come and get a partnership like that, we're really happy with today's play. In the circumstances [at 118 for four] the ball was in Pakistan's court." Morgan was retained in the team, following two underwhelming innings against Bangladesh at the start of the season, only because of the broken toe Bell suffered in a mid-summer one-day international. But the Irishman made no mistake in his third attempt to underline his Test credentials, dominating a record unbroken double-century stand with Collingwood after England had appeared in trouble on 118 for four following three quick wickets either side of lunch. The fifth-wicket pair held firm against the threat of Mohammad Aamer, who finished with figures of three for 39, and Mohammad Asif, both exploiting the cloud cover for Pakistan, before taking to their toll on the back-up bowlers who could not exert necessary control. Morgan had two moments of fortune, edging Aamer just short of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal on five and then 73 runs later surviving via the decision review system (DRS) when Danish Kaneria, the luckless leg-spinner, at last won an lbw decision from Asoka de Silva, only to be informed by third umpire Marais Erasmus that the ball was spinning past the leg-stump from round the wicket. The left-hander, who has become such a lynchpin for England in limited-overs cricket and even before yesterday was being touted by some as a "must" for next winter's Ashes, demonstrated unequivocally he can translate his talents to the longer format. There was just one reverse-sweep, expertly executed off Kaneria, among his 16 boundaries in a 151-ball century which arrived in the grand manner with a straight six off Shoaib Malik's off-spin. Collingwood was rarely fluent but at his best in terms of dependability, to ensure a telling England recovery and provide vindication for Andrew Strauss's borderline decision to bat first under cloudy skies. England's cause was helped too by Pakistani frailties, notably Kamran behind the stumps and their poor use of DRS. Strauss lost his opening partner Alastair Cook in the first hour but looked set himself until he flapped an edge behind off Aamer to go five runs short of his 50. There had already been one stroke of luck for the England captain on 15 thanks to a dropped catch by Kamran off Aamer, and the hosts also soon profited from the first use of the DRS in this country. Jonathan Trott, in at No 3, was the man reprieved on 13 when Erasmus had to tell De Silva his lbw verdict was wrong - because the batsman had inside-edged a forward-defensive at Kaneria. Strauss escaped when the thinnest of edges behind on a perfect outswinger brought only frustration for the tourists, because of Kamran. But there was to be no second chance for Cook, edging to slip in back-foot defence, and Strauss departed to only the fourth ball of Aamer's second spell. Trott soon had more luck on his side when Tony Hill turned down an Aamer lbw appeal from a ball angling in from round the wicket. Pakistan chose not to invoke DRS, and doubtless discovered at lunch that the verdict would have been overturned had they done so. Their response was to go into DRS overdrive - to no avail, as they used up their two permissible failures in successive Asif overs. Kevin Pietersen survived an lbw on one, then a caught-behind on five, only to fall anyway for just nine when Asif got a ball to snake on to off-stump via a front-foot inside edge. Trott soon followed, his second review failing to get him off an lbw charge - shouldering arms at Aamer. Collingwood completed his 114-ball 50 in the same Kaneria over and by stumps, after England had posted their best fifth-wicket stand against Pakistan, the visitors mostly had themselves to blame for failing to convert early gains.

* PA

At the close of the first day of the first Test between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge. England first innings Strauss c Kamran Akmal b Mohammad Aamer 45 Cook c Imran Farhat b Mohammad Aamer 8 Trott lbw b Mohammad Aamer 38 Pietersen b Mohammad Asif 9 Collingwood not out 81 Morgan not out 125 Extras: (b-5, lb-8, w-5, nb-7) 25 Total (four wickets; 90 overs) 331 Fall of wickets: 1-42 2-93 3-116 4-118 Still to bat: M.Prior, G.Swann, S.Broad, J.Anderson, S.Finn. Bowling: Aamer 19-4-39-3 (1w), Asif 20-6-65-1, Gul 16-4-58-0 (2nb), Kaneria 21-0-100-0 (2nb), Malik 11-2-39-0, Ali 1-0-9-0, Amin 1-0-3-0, Farhat 1-0-5-0. Pakistan: Salman Butt (captain), Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif.