September 26, 2020

West Indies lose to England by 5 wickets in First Test


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Ian Bell

England wrapped up a five-wicket victory in the first Test as a stand of 132 between Alastair Cook and Ian Bell saw off an early West Indies charge.

When Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen both went cheaply inside the first hour on the fifth day, a further 134 were needed and there was a genuine sense that an almighty upset might just come off.

But Cook’s classy, unhurried 79 and Bell’s 63 not out blunted the attack and then brought the target of 191 rapidly within reach as the shine went off the new ball.

Cook fell with just two needed but Bell punched away the winning runs alongside debutant Jonny Bairstow to seal victory midway through the afternoon session.

England will now take a 1-0 series lead into the second Test at Trent Bridge on Friday having been made to work far harder for the honour than almost all had expected.

With England resuming on 10-2 this morning – still 181 short of victory – West Indies came out in search of an early breakthrough, and found one when Trott pushed nervously at Kemar Roach and was caught at second slip for 13. Pietersen marched in swinging his arms and began aggressively while Cook dropped anchor, the opener going 27 deliveries with just one scoring shot.

Pietersen pulled Shannon Gabriel through midwicket for four, but then tried to do the same to a fuller one next ball and succeeded only in edging behind for an inauspicious 13.

It left England 57-4 and thoughts began to turn to a similar run-chase at Lord’s 12 years ago when England, needing 188 to beat a more illustrious West Indies side, had sunk deep into the mire before squeaking home by two wickets.

The difference here was the quality of the bowling. While that England line-up had to face Courtney Ambrose and Curtly Ambrose, the current Caribbean quicks had neither the accuracy nor menace of their predecessors.

Runs came at pace, the pitch as flat as it had been all match and the ball doing nothing through the air once the shine had been dulled.

Marlon Samuels’s gentle spin and Darren Sammy’s medium pace could not match the threat of Roach’s opening spell, and Cook and Bell were able to accumulate with increasing ease.

England scored 121 runs in the morning session, and with every boundary the initial pressure lifted a little more.

Cook was happy to cut and drive, while Bell displayed his usual extensive range of shots as they closed in rapidly after lunch.

Cook was disappointed to fall just short of the finishing line, looking to slap Sammy away for the match-winning boundary but edging to Kirk Edwards at gully.

It changed nothing. Bell clipped Samuels through midwicket for four and England were home.

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Scoreboard at the end of the first test between England and West Indies on Monday.  England beat West Indies by five wickets.

West Indies first innings 243 (S. Chanderpaul 87 not out, S. Broad 7-72)

England first innings 398 (A. Strauss 122, I. Bell 61. J.Trott 58)

West Indies second innings 345 (S. Chanderpaul 91, M.Samuels 86)

England second innings (overnight 10-2)

A. Strauss c Powell b Roach            1

A. Cook c K. Edwards b Sammy          79

J. Anderson c Ramdin b Roach           6

J. Trott c Sammy b Roach              13

K. Pietersen c Ramdin b Gabriel       13

I. Bell not out                       63

J. Bairstow not out                    0

Extras (nb 11, b-4, lb-3)             18

Total (for five wickets; 46.1 overs) 193

Did not bat: M. Prior, T. Bresnan, S. Broad, G. Swann

Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-10 3-29 4-57 5-189

Bowling: F. Edwards 8-0-24-0 (1nb), Roach 13-2-60-3 (10nb),

Gabriel 5-1-26-1, Sammy 10-1-25-1, Samuels 10.1-0-51-0

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