Replacement Strauss makes history

PTI | ByJohn Mehaffey (Reuters), London
May 22, 2004 11:32 AM IST

Andrew Strauss became only the fourth player to score a century on his Test debut at Lord's.

Andrew Strauss, a late replacement in the England side for injured captain Michael Vaughan, became on Friday only the fourth player to score a century on his Test debut at Lord's.

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One other Englishman, John Hampshire back in 1969 against West Indies, has previously scored a hundred on debut at the world's most famous ground.

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But Strauss, the Middlesex captain, is the only member of an elite quartet, also including India's Saurav Ganguly, who can claim Lord's as his home arena.

South African-born Strauss made 112 on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand to help his side to an imposing 246 for two in reply to New Zealand's 386.

"I haven't really had time to think about it," he told reporters. "It's unbelievable, it's a dream to score 100 on debut at Lord's. It's fantastic to make my debut at Lord's and even more so to make a hundred."

Strauss endured a testing time during the nervous 90s, needing 29 balls to move from 90 to 100, a landmark he reached by easing the ball through the covers to the boundary.

"I had felt pretty nervous," he said. "When I was on 98 I tried to drive one which was almost a bouncer which wasn't great judgement."

Strauss said his late call-up had not been a cause for concern.

"I thought I had nothing to lose on my home ground in a Test match," he said. "I was determined to enjoy it. I felt pretty confident early on."

He said it also helped that he was so familiar with Lord's.

"I think it helped quite a lot," Strauss said. "I know the wicket well, I know the slope well, I have played here enough to know that bit. It's nothing new, there are enough new things in a Test match."

The morning session showcased New Zealand's big-hitting all-rounder Chris Cairns, who broke former West Indies captain Viv Richards's Test record of 84 sixes with the third of four massive blows over the boundary. Cairns scored 82 from 47 balls, his highest score against England.

Cairns said he had thought he needed two sixes to break the record.

"I was quite excited after the second one," he said. "Then I couldn't see anyone applauding on the balcony. But then they all came out after the third one so I had miscounted."

Cairns said his most satisfying blow was a six off England's main strike bowler Steve Harmison.

"To smack someone of his calibre over cover was pretty good," he said.

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