Morgan instrumental in turnaround
Eoin Morgan reflected on the greatest achievement of his career after recording his maiden Test hundred at only the third attempt.
The 23-year-old Irishman shared a record unbroken double-century stand with Paul Collingwood, reaching stumps on 125 to his partner's 81 out of 331 for four on day one of the four-match npower Test series at Trent Bridge.
The recovery they engineered for England was vital at 118 for four, after Andrew Strauss had chosen to bat first under cloud cover and teenager Mohammad Aamer had once again shown what a dangerous bowler he already is.
Morgan began cautiously but rarely looked in any trouble, save for an edge short of the wicketkeeper on five and an lbw escape to Danish Kaneria via the Decision Review System on 78.
He went on to reach his century with a resounding straight six off Shoaib Malik, confirming to the doubters that he surely does have what it takes to succeed at Test as well as limited-overs international level.
"It's extremely satisfying, to score a Test match hundred in only my third game," he said.
"It's a great achievement, and I'm very proud of myself. The feeling of getting to three figures was fantastic. It was a huge moment in my career."
Morgan had not planned to go to his hundred with a six off Shoaib Malik - but was delighted to accept the invitation to do so.
"I was glad when he lobbed it up," Morgan said. "I wasn't even in that frame of mind, because they'd brought the field up - and I wasn't expecting him to dart it in.
"But when he threw it up I freed my hands and threw everything at it."
Much hard work had preceded that moment, for both Morgan and Collingwood.
"The major fact of my innings was I allowed myself to get in, in difficult circumstances," he said.
"Paul and I set up a great platform for ourselves, getting past that swing - and then took advantage when the wicket went flat and the ball a bit soft."
Morgan made it clear too that he for one has never had any concerns about his ability to translate his Twenty20 and 50-over knack to five-day cricket.
"I don't think I have any doubt about my talent. I'm quite a confident player, and a guy who likes expressing himself."
Pakistan did not help themselves, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal in particular having a torrid time - dropping a straightforward catch to reprieve Strauss early on and then missing an even easier stumping when Collingwood was on 48.
It was Akmal too who was entrusted with the responsibility of Pakistan's DRS policy - which went wrong when they blew both their permitted failed chances within two overs shortly after lunch.
Umar Amin was not a central player, but it was left to him to confirm: "We were in a good position, but unfortunately we gave it away. Eoin Morgan played a fantastic innings."
Amin was not ideally placed for either of Pakistan's failed reviews against Kevin Pietersen but said: "I thought at the time they were out. I just consider it a hard day at the office."