The record books might have recorded a comfortable victory over Zimbabwe in this first Test Match of the 2003 summer, but Mark Butcher’s century was built on a doggedness that helped England through a challenging opening day at Lord’s.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first under leaden skies, Butcher steered England to 184 for 3 on a truncated opening day as he put on 76 with Marcus Trescothick for the second wicket.
It was on the second day that Butcher’s century put England in a commanding position to record victory. His 137, the highest score for an England batsman against Zimbabwe, took over six hours in all and helped his side to a first innings total of 472 all out. Butcher’s century, his seventh in Test matches at the time, also saw him earn a place on the Honours Board at Lord’s for two successive summers, having hit 105 against Sri Lanka in 2002.
Zimbabwe were dismissed for 147 and 233 as England wrapped up victory by an innings and 92 runs on the third day, and they repeated the three-day success at Chester-le-Street fortnight later to win the two-match series 2-0.