AFP

LONDON

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq became the oldest player to score a Test century for 82 years as he helped his side recover against England at Lord's on Thursday. Misbah was 110 not out in a Pakistan total of 282 for six at stumps on the first day of this four-match series.

The 42-year-old came to the crease with Pakistan in trouble at 77 for three after he had won the toss. But together with Asad Shafiq (73), Misbah put on 148 for the fifth wicket.

England all-rounder Chris Woakes, however, twice took two wickets in quick succession at both ends of the day. The Warwickshire paceman bowled nightwatchman Rahat Ali for a duck off what became Thursday's last ball to finish with figures of four for 45 in 18 overs.

But off-spinner Moeen Ali was expensive, his seven wicketless overs costing 46 runs. The 42-year-old Misbah's achievement was all the more impressive as this was also his first Test at the 'home of cricket'. Not since England's Patsy Hendren made a century against Australia aged 45 at Manchester's Old Trafford ground back in 1934 had an older player scored a Test hundred.

Remarkably, this was also Misbah's first Test anywhere in England. It looked as if Misbah was about to celebrate his achievement by prostrating himself on the turf in prayer. But instead he performed a series of press-ups in what appeared to be a joke aimed at critics who questioned whether he is now too old for international cricket.

The gesture also a wry reference to the pre-tour 'army-style' training camp the squad were put through at the Pakistan Military Academy in the northwestern town of Kakul.

"A lot of things have been said about my technique and the outside edge, and the celebration... I promised the guys," Misbah said. “It was my promise to the army guys in the Abbottabad camp that I’d d ten push-ups whenever I score hundred in England,” Misbah saidr. He further revealed that the salute was for the Pakistan flag.On a more serious note, and turning to the match situation, Misbah said: "We're in a good position at the moment. We really want to score another 100 runs to give us a good chance.

Misbah was dropped on 16 by Joe Root, who grassed a tough slip chance off fast bowler Steven Finn. And he would have been run out for 58 after a mix-up with Shafiq if Gary Ballance had hit the stumps. Misbah was severe on Ali, reverse and conventionally sweeping him for four fours in an over.

Another reverse sweep off Ali took him to 99. A single to third man off Finn saw Misbah to his 10th century in 62 Tests off 154 balls with 17 boundaries. All the pre-match hype had concerned Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir, making his return to Test cricket at Lord's -- the scene of his 2010 spot-fixing crime.

But Amir, who served a five-year ban, remained a spectator on Thursday. Pakistan's openers got through the new ball ball before first-change Woakes removed them both with a burst of two wickets for five runs in 16 balls.

Shan Masood was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow. Woakes and Bairstow combined again to have Mohammad Hafeez (40) caught off a skyer. Pakistan were 76 for two shortly after lunch when Azhar Ali was literally knocked off his feet by a yorker from Jake Ball, given a Test debut after the selectors decided against risking England's all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson following a shoulder injury.

Ali reviewed and Nottinghamshire quick Ball had an anxious wait before a tight 'umpire's call' verdict gave him a first Test wicket.

"I really enjoyed my wicket," said Ball. "When he reviewed it, I was nervous because it looked like it was sliding down but to see it clipping leg stump was really nice." Younus Khan made an elegant 33 before he carelessly chipped Stuart Broad to Ali at square leg. But Shafiq offered excellent support with a 130-ball innings featuring 12 fours. He was out shortly before the close when, trying to withdraw the bat against Woakes with the new ball, he was caught behind. Woakes then made it two for none in 11 balls when he removed Ali to round off an intriguing first day.

Twitter Reaction to Misbah’s ton and celebrations

Congrats to Misbah for his century at Lords. That he couldn't make it to Pak team till age 34 speaks volumes abt state of our cricket system. Imagine what Misbah could have contributed if his talent had been groomed earlier! Such a tragic waste of potential.

Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI

Misbah is one hellava guy! He lives to fight on tomorrow. Salute!

Najam Sethi @najamsethi

Misbah the push up King! #100 @lords #42

Dean Jones @ProfDeano

Haha that is genius!! The best celebration I've ever seen!! Life in the old dog yet!! Misbah is going strong! Well played! #ENGvPAK

James Taylor @jamestaylor20

The greatest 100 celebration of all time at #Lords ... @captainmisbahpk ...

Michael Vaughan @MichaelVaughan

Great job by misbah to save the day 4 Pak team .. Now they need to capitalised that to win the morning session it's important..

Shoaib Akhtar @shoaib100mph

Great inning by Misbah Ul Haq well done

Saeed Ajmal @REALsaeedajmal

Brilliant play by @captainmisbahpk, once again pulling Pakistan out of a tight spot! Proud of you boys-you can do it! #MisbahulHaq #PAKvENG

Shahid Afridi @SAfridiOfficial

For those that don't understand. Brilliant from Misbah. His 100 was about skill not 'big bats'. Hold the abuse lads..

Mark Butcher @markbutcher72

congratulations @captainmisbahpk on making 1st 100 in England@lords extraordinary innings well played @AsdShafiq

Kamran Akmal @KamiAkmal23

Very fine test hundred to Misbah-ul-Haq, number 10, coming at 42 yrs of age! #ENGvPAK #LordsTest #honourboard

Tom Moody @TomMoodyCricket

When the next gen of Shahzads and Akmals come by, Misbah will still be not out at the other end.......

Harsha Bhogle ?@bhogleharsha

Great 100 at Lords by Misbah ! Age is just a number an spoken about far too often in sport #experiancecounts

Ryan Sidebottom @RyanSidebottom

Oldest player to score a hundred

Player Age Runs Team Opposition Ground Match Date

J Hobbs 46y 82d 142 England v Australia Melbourne 8 Mar 1929

E Hendren 45y 151d 132 England v Australia Manchester 6 Jul 1934

W Bardsley 43y 202d 193* Australia v England Lord's 26 Jun 1926

A Nourse 42y 291d 111 South Africa v Australia Johannesburg 12 Nov 1921

F Woolley 42y 61d 154 England v South Africa Manchester 27 Jul 1929

Misbah-ul-Haq 42y 47d 110* Pakistan v England Lord's 14 Jul 2016

E Rowan 42y 6d 236 South Africa v England Leeds 26 Jul 1951

R Simpson 41y 359d 100 Australia v India Adelaide 28 Jan 1978

W Armstrong 41y 265d 123* Australia v England Melbourne 11 Feb 1921

T Graveney 41y 263d 105 England v Pakistan Karachi 6 Mar 1969

H Taylor 41y 241d 117 South Africa v England Cape Town 1 Jan 1931

B Sutcliffe 41y 108d 151* New Zealand v India Kolkata 5 Mar 1965

G Boycott 41y 63d 105 England v India Delhi 23 Dec 1981

G Gooch 40y 314d 210 England v New Zealand Nottingham 2 Jun 1994

A Nourse 40y 207d 208 South Africa v England Nottingham 7 Jun 1951

C Lloyd 40y 84d 114 West Indies v Australia Brisbane 23 Nov 1984

S Chanderpaul 40y 28d 101* West Indies v Bangladesh Gros Islet 13 Sep 2014

C Macartney 40y 27d 109 Australia v England Manchester 24 Jul 1926

V Merchant 40y 21d 154 India v England Delhi 2 Nov 1951

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN 1ST INNINGS:

M Hafeez c Bairstow b Woakes 40

Shan Masood c Bairstow b Woakes 7

Azhar Ali lbw b Ball 7

Younus Khan c Ali b Broad 33

Misbah-ul-Haq not out 110

Asad Shafiq c Bairstow b Woakes 73

Rahat Ali b Woakes 0

EXTRAS: (lb9, w2, nb1) 12

TOTAL: (6 wkts, 87 overs) 282

FOW: 1-38, 2-51, 3-77, 4-134, 5-282, 6-282

BOWLING: Broad 21-9-44-1 (1w); Ball 19-5-51-1 (1w); Woakes 18-6-45-4; Finn 21-2-86-0; Ali 7-0-46-0 (1nb); Vince 1-0-1-0

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Joel Wilson (WIS)

TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker (AUS)

MATCH REFEREE: Richie Richardson (WIS)