England's Jonathan Trott overcame a painful blow to the knee to strike a brave century as he and Matt Prior savaged Australia's attack late on Monday to put the tourists in a strong position to retain the Ashes.
Trott's unbeaten 141 propelled England to 444-5 at stumps on the second day of the fourth Test, a lead of 346 runs, and was completed after he was floored by a Ben Hilfenhaus delivery that deflected off his bat and struck him on his left knee when on 76.
The Cape Town-born batsman slumped to the ground in pain and lay prone for sometime as he received medical attention. But he got to his feet gingerly and eventually brought up his ton with a deft flick through midwicket that raced to the boundary.
Trott held his helmet and bat aloft, savouring the applause from the crowd of more than 67,000, before embracing his batting partner Prior.
"One I will definitely savour, but they're all pretty special,” Trott said of his fifth Test century.
“But Boxing Day (Dec 26) and all the hype around it and the support from the English fans, it would be right up there (with my best).”
“(The blow was) probably one of the most painful things I've ever felt in my life,” he said.
He and Prior's unbeaten 163-run stand took the wind out of Australia's sails after the hosts' pacemen had threatened to stall England's charge with three wickets in an incident-packed afternoon session.
Prior joined in the celebrations by smacking a pull-shot off part-time legspinner Steve Smith to bring up his half-century before joining with Trott to belt Australia's bowlers to all corners of the ground in the final overs.
Wicketkeeper Prior was on 75 at stumps as the pair raised England's hopes of further tightening the noose around Australia's neck on day three with five wickets in hand.
Trott's century may also bring back grim memories for many of skipper Ricky Ponting's men, who watched the 29-year-old stroke a brilliant second innings 119 on his Test debut at the Oval last year to help England seal the Ashes in the fifth Test.