Stuart Broad plays second fiddle to no one

Lest we forget his contribution as rain helped England save face and retain the urn at Old Trafford.

updated: August 06, 2013 22:08 IST
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Quite simple, England were out-batted by Australia in the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford and if not for the notorious Manchester rains, the battle for the urn would still be on. England can relish the Ashes for a further few months at least, and could do worse than tip hats to Stuart Broad, who played a rather understated but crucial role a few days ago.

With James Anderson having a rare off Test and Tim Bresnan effective but never exemplary, Broad probed and pleaded with a surprisingly dogged Aussie top-order for much of the first two days. Stuck on 199 Test wickets, Broad's petulant habit of walking off the field after almost every spell was rather infuriating. 55 overs after he dismissed Michael Clarke lbw in the first innings at Lord's, Broad finally had reward and a round-figured wicket column.

A back-of-a-length delivery nipped in and cramped Clarke for room, who could only drag it back onto his stumps. Broad had his 200th and - at that stage - England had hope. At least Broad didn't have to wait as long as Chris 'Phantom' Martin, who took almost 10 months to take the one wicket required to complete his second century.

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