Stuart Broad stars at Trent Bridge again
What is it about Trent Bridge and Stuart Broad?
Asked to step up and assume the mantle of England spearhead in the absence of Jimmy Anderson, Broad delivered the piece de resistance of his 83-Test career.
Broad has enjoyed plenty of highlights at his homeground.
In 2011 against India, he celebrated his first hat-trick and snared five wickets in 16 balls without conceding a run.
In 2013 against Australia, he riled the tourists by failing to walk and wasting time in a thrilling victory.
Such feats pale in comparison to what he managed on Thursday, career-best figures of 8-15.
The staggering haul was the greatest by an English paceman in an Ashes contest.
More importantly it put the hosts on track for a crushing victory that would also deliver a series win.
It’s a role Broad knows well, having delivered an inspired spell at Durham in 2013 that gave England an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
Broad admitted it was hard not to think about his 300th Test scalp leading up to day one.
Little did he know what was in store.
Broad needed only two minutes and three balls to achieve that milestone.
It was a sensational delivery – angled across Chris Rogers but nipping back off the pitch to find the edge.
By the time Broad’s opening spell was over he had taken wicket No.307, drawing level with fourth-placed Fred Trueman on England’s list of wicket takers.
“It was pretty unbelievable. It hasn’t sunk in,” Broad said.
“Trent Bridge offers something on a full of a length.
“It was a delight, this is such a big week for us.”
The nature of the occasion will ensure Broad’s 9.3 overs aren’t forgotten soon.
“There’s an opportunity for someone to really make a name for themselves in the history of English cricket,” Alastair Cook said in his pre-match press conference.
“If someone scores a really big hundred or takes six or seven wickets to help England win the game, their name will be etched in history forever.”