Friday, 21 September, 2018

England brisk with twin fifties against West Indies

Frederick Owens | 19 August, 2017, 07:32

Alastair Cook's chanceless Edgbaston vigil ended on 243, but still maintained England's dominant position on a rain-shortened second day of the first Investec Test against the West Indies.

Root and Cook negotiated the pink ball easily in the first day-night test in England, and first involving England, helped by some wayward bowling by the West Indian attack.

Visitors trail by 470 runs when rain calls an early halt to day two of the maiden day-night Test on United Kingdom soil. Earlier, they lost their first wicket early to be reduced to 13 for 1 in reply to England's first innings 514 for 8 decl.at tea on Day Two of the first Test at Edgbaston on Friday.

Only two deliveries all day truly troubled any of the batsman, and both claimed wickets in the early stages of the day, as England's unstated ambition of using this series to resolve their top-order issues in good time for the Ashes received an early reality check.

Malan, who made just 35 runs in two matches in the recent South Africa series, was delighted to make a contribution and learn from one of the best in game.

By the close of play, the conversation had switched to the fact that, when it comes to Test cricket, England and West Indies are like night and day.

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Comfortably England's leading run-scorer and century-maker in the five-day game, Cook now has 31 Test hundreds, putting him one shy of former Australia skipper Steve Waugh, who sits 10th on the all-time list. They at least battled through to tea without further loss - but not before debutant Kyle Hope had a huge lbw appeal from Anderson turned down first ball and Kieran Powell was dropped on two by Stokes at gully off the bowling of Broad.

Cook then reaped the rewards for the cussed determination he had shown during almost eight hours at the crease by bringing up his fourth double hundred in Tests.

As Cook and Root cashed in, Stoneman and Westley must have rued their own failings to make a telling score. In the list of England players, Cook's tally of double centuries is joint second on the list. But his chances of surpassing his highest Test score of 294, made against India at Edgbaston six years ago, were not helped by a rush of wickets at the other end, with Chase the main beneficiary.

But before falling lbw on DRS to Roston Chase (4-113) - pushing to leg and missing - he had spent nearly nine-and-a-half hours at the crease this time and hit 33 fours from 407 balls.

Meanwhile, Windies paceman Kemar Roach revelled in his emotional return to global cricket. Cook went past the 5917 runs scored by Gooch at home.

328 -Number of balls Kemar Roach went wicket-less in Tests before dismissing Stoneman.

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