KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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From Amla to Onions, Lords.org reviews the top five individual performances at the Home of Cricket in 2012.
Stuart Broad - 11/165 England v West Indies, May 17 - 21
The blond bombshell once again delighted and frustrated England fans in equal measures in 2012, and ended the year injured and out of the Test side during the tour of India.
Back at Lord's in May however he was riding the crest of a wave, recording first-innings figures of 7/72 in the kind of swing masterclass which England bowlers have often used to terrorise the visitors in early summer conditions.
The spell - which included six of the last seven wickets in a ruthless display of tail-end destruction - had added significance, as Broad ensured his name featured on both the batting and bowling Honours Boards at Lord's; a distinction shared by just seven others.
Eoin Morgan - 116 (54 balls, 11 sixes) Middlesex v Lancashire, 10 June
Eoin Morgan might have drifted away from the Test team in 2012, but he played quite simply the most spectacular Lord's knock of the year, in a CB40 Group match against Lancashire.
It was a mighty day for Angus Fraser's Irish imports, and in another year Paul Stirling may have made this list for his fierce 119 off 99 balls. But Morgan was simply playing a different game. Arriving at the crease with 23.3 of the 40 overs already bowled (and 168 already on the board), he reverse swept his first ball to the fence and soon struck Ajmal Shahzad for his first six.
Barely an hour later and Sajid Mahmood was hooked for a maximum to bring up a brutal but dextrous century which nobody at Lord's that day will ever forget.
Mithali Raj - 90* England Women v India Women, 1 July
Few would have given India much of a chance in the first ODI of their series with world champions and top-ranked team England, but trips to the Home of Cricket have traditionally brought out the best in touring sides.
So step forward Mithali Raj. India's captain has been a bedrock of the national team's efforts since her debut as a 19-year-old in 1999 and produced a perfectly-paced "finisher's" innings to guide her side home with just three balls to spare, with Poonam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur also making half centuries.
It was a monumental win for 30-year-old Raj's side. Not only was it India's first ever win at Lord's but was only their third ODI win in England against their hosts in 21 attempts and ended a seven-match winning run for Charlotte Edwards' England.
Hashim Amla - 121 England v South Africa, August 16 - 20
While cricket was a sideshow to the Olympics for much of the summer, Hashim Amla's performances will be remembered as cricket's closest thing to the herculean efforts of Farah, Bolt and Phelps.
Following a marathon triple century at the Oval, his masterful century at Lord's, straddling days three and four of the Test, took the match away from England as they briefly threatened to set up an unlikely series-levelling victory. By the time the graceful number three was dismissed however, the Proteas were 250 to the good and in the process of completing their rise to be the number one Test team.
Amla joins another elite group of overseas players - including his Test captain Graeme Smith - who have made two centuries at Lord's.
Vernon Philander - 5/30 & 61 England v South Africa, August 16 - 20
But despite the sheer quality of Amla's knock, he was beaten to the man-of-the-match prize by Vernon Philander, whose 5/30 in the final innings of the match drove South Africa to victory after England briefly threatened to set up an unlikely snatch-and-grab on the final afternoon.
It was the swing bowler's second key contribution of the match, following his aggressive knock of 61 which took his team from a precarious 163/6 in their first innings to a respectable 309 all out.
But it was with the ball that he rightly joined Amla on the Honours Boards, with an almost perfect opening bowler's performance. First he put South Africa completely on top, accounting for both openers (including Andrew Strauss' last Test knock) as England crumbled to 6/2 chasing 346. Then, as Matt Prior threatened the most impossible of escapes, Philander popped up again to dismiss England's wicket-keeper and Steven Finn in successive balls and finish the Test summer in style.
As with any list, there were several efforts which haven't quite made it, but deserve a mention nonetheless. With the ball Graham Onions took figures of 10/73 in the match for Durham against Middlesex in April, including the wicket of Andrew Strauss twice - a performance which accelerated his return to the England set up. Glen Chapple led Lancashire to relegation just a year after lifting the title, but took 10/133 in defeat as the season drew to a close.
Middlesex's batting rock Chris Rogers made the highest first-class score of a bowlers' summer, 173 against Somerset in June, while perhaps the most resonating name to make a century at Lord's in 2012 was that of Graham Grace - who conjured up images of cricketing past with his knock of 124 for MCC against Minor Counties in August.
Durham MCCU captain Chris Jones lit up the MCCU Challenge Final with 107 as his side beat Cambridge, while there was also a century from opener Lalit Bose for Harrow as they defeated Eton. MCC's Roger Bolstridge rounded off the summer with a fine performance of 5/52 as they beat Incogniti in the last game of the year on 17 September.
But perhaps the performance at Lord's worthy of most global attention in 2012 came from the Republic of Korea Archery team, who collected three of the four gold medals on offer at the Home of Cricket back in August. Oh Jin Hyek and Ki Bo Bae collected individual men's and women's gold respectively while the women's team also claimed top spot on the podium. Italy won the other gold on offer, in the men's team event.