Stuart Broad put himself in elite company yesterday 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 six for 72 on day one of the Investec series against the West Indies helped restrict the tourists to 243 for nine, 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 today 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,” he said. “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 today 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.”
The one man Broad could not shift, not for the first time, was Chanderpaul.
“Shiv has played very well against us again, and we don’t want him to get a hundred.
“We wanted to stay away from his legs and his hip early, because he accumulates 20 or 30 without you realising.
“But sometimes you’ve just got to take your hat off and say ‘Well played’. He did play fantastically today.”
Graeme Swann, instead, came closest to dismissing the limpet left-hander but chose not to review a not-out lbw decision - when Chanderpaul was on 62 - which would have been overturned on DRS.
“I can’t believe Swanny didn’t get the review - he normally dives in himself,” said Broad.
“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 - don’t let Shiv keep the strike. Keeping the number 11 on strike is crucial for us,” he added.