Centuries from Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad got England out of a hole dug for them by some brilliant bowling by Pakistan's Mohammad Amir on day two of the England v Pakistan Test at Lord's.
Bad news comes in threes
Early rain in north-west London raised fears of another delayed start.
The rain stopped in time and sterling work by MCC Head Groundsman Mick Hunt and his team saved the scheduled 11am start.
Soon after the start England may have been cursing Hunt and his staff.
Resuming on 31-1, Cook and Trott added just eight runs before the prodigiously talented 18-year-old Mohammad Amir started swinging the ball around in cloudy conditions.
Cook went in the first full over of the day, forced to play by Amir but just edging behind to the 'keeper, Kamran Akmal.
That brought the confidence-lacking Kevin Pietersen out to bat, who watched Trott block out a maiden over before he too walked back to the Pavilion - out for a golden duck to that man Amir.
Paul Collingwood lasted just three balls before Amir rapped him on the pads. Umpire Billy Bowden looked unsure, bat and pad arriving on the ball almost together.
Pakistan called for the TV umpire and moments later Collingwood joined Pietersen in the dressing room - a third wicket for Amir.
Three more balls and it was a third England duck - Eoin Morgan drawn to play and Yasir Hameed taking a grateful catch at second slip for Amir's fourth wicket.
England were reeling on 47-5 but had their two in-form batsmen, Trott and Matt Prior at the crease.
The pair survived 18 more overs until lunch but at 97-5 the home side still looked in serious trouble. With cloud overhead it was very much advantage Pakistan.
Amir put the seal on an inevitable looking five-for in just the third over after lunch.
The teenager was brought back on to bowl and produced another double-wicket taking spell.
First he tempted Prior into an edge behind, celebrating his Lord's Honours Board notch by kissing the Lord's turf.
Just two balls later he had a sixth victim, Graeme Swann becoming the fourth England duck of the day.
With the score at 102-7 Pakistan seemed close to wrapping things up.
Some 71 overs later Trott and new partner Stuart Broad were still there.
Trott scored his second Lord's Test century of the summer (having scored 226 against Bangladesh in May). Broad added to that with his maiden first-class century - beating his previous Test best of 76 (scored at Lord's against South Africa in 2008).
It was an agonisingly long afternoon for the Pakistan fielders as, after having England on the ropes, the score passed 200 and then 300 with neither batsman offering the merest sniff of a chance.
Landmarks came and went - first Broad's 50, then Trott's 100, followed by Broad's century.
Mohammad Amir's six wickets seem certain to make him player of the day but Trott and then Broad surpassed him in that race.
Day three at Lord's promises even better weather - we can only hope it will be even half as exciting as today.
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