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Freddie "Century at Lord's Did Not Leave Me Wanting to Celebrate"
It is always pleasing to score a century and particularly so in a Test match at Lordís, but my knock against South Africa did not leave me feeling particularly elated.
Itís nice to entertain people, but I would have preferred it to mean something in the context of the match. It would have been far better had it been to win the match or save the game.
When Steve Harmison came out to bat he just told me he wasnít going to get out and that heíd

get me to my hundred.
When it came I wasnít quite sure what to do. I knew I had to raise my bat and take off my helmet to acknowledge the applause, but I didnít think it right to show too much emotion given that it was not going to determine the outcome of the match.
At least I have my name on the board now at Lordís. A lot of great players are up there and I wonder just how many of them were scored to win or save a game. Hopefully if I get the chance to do it again, it will have grater meaning.
A lot of people have said to me just how much they enjoyed my 142 and hopefully I can now take it forward in a season when I have been playing and seeing the ball really well.
I feel refreshed now because I needed a week off after bowling about 70 overs in 12 days. Itís the most Iíve ever done in such a short time and left me extremely tired.
Now we move on to Trent Bridge where we must find a way to stop Graeme Smith, who has been in such phenomenal form for South Africa. Hopefully we can get him a bit quicker than we have because two double hundreds in the first two Tests has given them the initiative and the lead in the series.
I made my Test debut against South Africa at Trent Bridge in a match, which saw a magnificent duel between Michael Atherton and Allan Donald. I also hope the result is the same because we won that encounter.
But I will be looking for a better haul than the one wicket and 17 runs I scored. To be honest, I got carried away by the crowd and got out trying to hit Jacques Kallis over extra cover for six.
I am five years older now and still only 25, a fact a lot of pundits seem to forget, and hopefully I will be able to show how much I have matured in those five years.
Although I have always considered myself a batting all-rounder, itís been my bowling thatís kept me in the side. Now I aim to show people that I have a greater awareness of what balls I can score off and which I should leaveÖ and prove just how much I want to become a force for England.
Written by Martin Hardy on behalf of ISM


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