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Cool Eoin Morgan passes Test with century

Some people find it difficult to transfer skills from one form of the game to the other. Some people thought that applied to Eoin Morgan. Some people were wrong.

With a serenity and authority that suggested that he is at home in any crease at any time, the Irish boulevardier scored 125 not out in his third Test match yesterday, England's first of the series against Pakistan.

He reached his hundred with a straight six which went a long way. There is a long way to go, too, before Morgan makes it as a substantial Test batsman but this innings bore sufficient hallmarks of class to suggest that he will make it every step of the way.

Morgan, the first Irishman to play in a Test for England in more than a century has already scored two one-day hundreds for his adopted nation.

“It was a special moment which every cricketer dreams of,” he said after leaving the field with England on 331 for 4.

“I am far from a Test match player and hopefully have a long way to go. I have to score runs consistently and hopefully I can do it over a long period.”

Morgan's calm approach was notable after he went in with England in trouble at 118 for four and though he conceded this was helped by having the veteran Paul Collingwood at the other end, he had clearly weighed his options.

“I'm pretty chilled out, laid-back, so I would say I was calm,” he said. “What I learned from my two Test matches against Bangladesh was to be greedy and get more runs. It was part of my plan to get myself in especially with the ball moving about so much. It was a matter of establishing myself at the crease.

“Paul Collingwood at the other end has a very experienced head on his shoulders and that helped. He is somebody I thoroughly enjoy batting with.”

It was the more impressive for being made in dire circumstances. England were 118 for 4 and their first innings was in danger of unravelling before the tourists' two most imposing seamers when Morgan strode calmly to the middle.

Together with Collingwood he shared an unbroken partnership of 213 for the fifth wicket, a record for England against Pakistan.

The final total represented a position of huge superiority for England. The ball will probably swing all match, particularly if the skies stay bright but cloudy as they did yesterday, and the pitch has sufficient cracks to offer any self-respecting spinner cause to be glad he plies such a trade. It was turning soon after lunch.

Morgan already cuts a mighty figure in the shorter forms of the game. He has become a key batsman, maybe the key batsman, in England's order since last autumn. He can make big runs and he can make them with the creativity of a true artist when the going might demand something altogether more prosaic.

There was the odd play and miss at the start of his innings, but then playing and missing was the order of the day. Morgan was never ruffled, rarely troubled. When he was five and edged the formidable Mohammad Aamer behind he might have been out.

But the Pakistan appeal rightly went to the third umpire— though not as part of the Decision Review System which was being used in England for the first time, but simply because of good old-fashioned commonsense checking — it was clear the ball had fallen short of Kamran Akmal's gloves. On 78 Morgan himself asked for an official referral when he was given out leg before to Danish Kaneria and replays showed the ball was spinning well past the leg stump.

These were mere blips on the way to his maiden Test century. As he has so often in one-day arena he essayed the scene, took his time and recognised there was no need to rush.

Belfast Telegraph