Sun, May 23, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Andy Strauss makes his mark in cricket at Lord's

AP , LONDON

England's opening batsman Andrew Strauss celebrates scoring a half century during the second day of the first test against New Zealand at Lord's in London, Friday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Andy Strauss made history at the home of cricket on Friday when he became the first Middlesex player to score a debut test century at Lord's.

A replacement for opener Michael Vaughan, Strauss scored 112 in England's 246 for two in reply to a New Zealand total of 386 all out.

The only other Middlesex player to have scored a century on test debut was Pelham 'Plum' Warner who did so in Johannesburg back in 1898-99. Only one other England batsman, Yorkshire's John Hampshire, had played a three-figure innings at headquarters on his debut. He did so with 107 against West Indies in 1969.

"It is just too much to take in," Strauss said. "You dream of it, you dream of 100 at Lord's on debut. It just can't get any better. It will take a while to settle in. I'll just enjoy it."

He said being Middlesex captain and playing regularly at the famous ground helped him.

Strauss wasn't the only record breaker on day two of the test.

New Zealand's Chris Cairns went past West Indies batting great Viv Richards for the highest number of test match sixes. Lying two behind Richards' 84, he struck four in his innings of 82 off 47 deliveries to take the record to 86.

"There were attacking fields and if something's in my arc I give it a crash," Cairns said. "With wickets falling they kept attacking fields and that played into my hands."

Then it was the turn of Strauss and England's stand-in captain Marcus Trescothick to punish the New Zealand bowlers with an opening partnership of 190.

The second session of play was dominated by the two left-handed England openers who remained untroubled by the five bowlers used by New Zealand.

Trescothick drove with fine timing and Strauss was quick to pull and cut anything that dropped short. They reached their half centuries only a few minutes apart. Trescothick got to his first from 95 balls, having hit nine boundaries and Strauss took 90 balls (five boundaries) for his 50 which he reached with a square cut off Chris Martin.

Trescothick's 50 had coincided with England's hundred on the board after 28.3 overs. At the end of the second session Strauss on 65, had overtaken his senior partner who was on 60 with England progressing well on 136 for no loss.

An hour into the final session, the Black Caps got the breakthrough they urgently needed with England having put on their highest opening partnership against New Zealand on this ground. Having played and missed the previous couple of balls from Jacob Oram, Trescothick eventually edged one behind and departed for 86. He had faced 165 balls, hitting 13 of them to the boundary.

Strauss was on 89 at the fall of the first wicket and then he spent 40 minutes in the 90s before cover driving Martin for his 12th boundary to reach the milestone of his maiden test hundred to a standing ovation. He had a near miss on 91 when an inside edge flicked the off stump but, remarkably, the bails stayed on.

Finally, on 112, he thin-edged a catch to short leg off left arm spinner Daniel Vettori and Mark Richardson snapped up the chance.

England had lost the second wicket on 239 and Strauss had batted for just over five hours, hitting 13 fours.

Earlier, Cairns took New Zealand to a total that had looked unlikely when England had claimed quick wickets on the second morning.

Resuming on the overnight score of 284 for five, the tourists lost Jacob Oram to the ninth ball. Having added three to his overnight score of 64, he was caught behind off Steve Harmison.

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