Sport

Ton-up Cook, Root put Windies to toil on day one

Friday, August 18, 2017

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BIRMINGHAM, England (AFP) — Alastair Cook and Captain Joe Root both scored hundreds as England dominated the West Indies in the inaugural day/night Test on English soil at Edgbaston yesterday.

England were 348 for three at stumps on the first day of what is just the fifth day/night Test worldwide.

Cook was 153 not out after more than six hours at the crease. Together with Root (136), he put on 248 for the third wicket

The past and present England skippers had come together with their side faltering at 39 for two after both debutant Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley had been dismissed for eight.

Dawid Malan, given a reprieve on two, was 28 not out at the close.

Root's 11th fifty in successive Tests was a new England record and just one shy of South Africa star A B de Villiers' mark of 12.

For Cook, already England's leading Test run scorer and century maker, this was his 31st hundred at this level.

The West Indies, Test cricket's dominant force in the 1970s and 1980s, have long struggled away from home.

During the past 20 years, excluding matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, they've won just three out of 86 Tests outside the Caribbean.

They arrived in England without several star players, the legacy of a bitter dispute with West Indies administrators and the lure of the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament that is taking place at the same time as this series.

Yet they still had two early wickets under sunny blue skies that promised ideal batting conditions.

Left-hander Stoneman's first two scoring shots in Test cricket were fours off Kemar Roach.

But that was as good as it got for Stoneman, brought in after England dropped Keaton Jennings following a run of low scores during the preceding 3-1 home Test series victory against South Africa.

Roach clean-bowled Stoneman with a superb ball that pitched on middle stump and clipped the top of off.

Westley was then lbw on review to Miguel Cummins.

Cook and Root however repaired the damage.

Just before the lunch interval, left-hander Cook completed a 74-ball fifty.

This match is the 50th Test at Edgbaston and to mark the occasion, there was a parade of former England cricketers who had played on the Birmingham ground during the lunch break.

The likes of Geoffrey Boycott, Dennis Amiss and and David Gower, who all made centuries against some truly formidable West Indies pace attacks, could have been forgiven a few envious thoughts as they took in the applause of a near-capacity crowd of more than 21,000.

After lunch, Root went to an 83 ball-fifty when a flashing cut off opposing skipper Jason Holder flew through the slips for four.

Root, who made 190 against South Africa in his first match as England captain at Lord's last month, pulled off-spinner Roston Chase to fine leg for a ninth boundary that saw him complete his 13th Test century in 139 balls.

Cook then went to an understated but no less valuable 182-ball hundred with a single off Chase.

For all the talk of what the pink ball might do and the difficulties of batting in twilight, it looked as if England's top-order mainstays would both get through to the close.

Root, however, was surprisingly bowled between bat and pad by the persevering Roach.

Malan had made two when an edged cut off part-time spinner Kraigg Brathwaite hit Jermaine Blackwood before the slip could react.

The West Indies' woes then intensified when paceman Holder left the field with a neck injury midway through bowling an over before Cook's leg-side clip off fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, the opener's 23rd four, took him to 150.

Scoreboard

England 1st Innings
A Cook not out 153
M Stoneman b Roach 8
T Westley lbw b Cummins 8
J Root b Roach 136
D Malan not out 28
Extras (lb8, nb4, w3) 15
Total (3 wkts, 90 overs, 377
mins 348
To bat: B Stokes, J Bairstow,
M Ali, T Roland-Jones,
S Broad, J Anderson
Fall of wickets: 1-14
(Stoneman), 2-39 (Westley),
3-287 (Root)
Bowling: Roach 20-5-72-2
(3w); Joseph 17-2-85-0 (1nb);
Cummins 19-3-61-1 (2nb);
Holder 15.3-3-58-0 (1nb);
Chase 12.3-0-58-0;
Brathwaite 6-0-6-0
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite,
Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Kyle
Hope, Roston Chase, Jermaine
Blackwood, Shane Dowrich
(wkt), Jason Holder (capt),
Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph,
Miguel Cummins
Toss: England
Umpires: S Ravi (IND), Marais
Erasmus (RSA)
TV Umpire: Chris Gaffaney

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