WI let things slip
NOTTINGHAM, England – West Indies captain Darren Sammy completed his maiden Test century, but Andrew Strauss, his opposite number, collected his second hundred of the series to lead an aggressive England reply in the second Test on Saturday.
Sammy’s knock of 106 followed up Marlon Samuels third Test hundred of 117, lifting the Windies to 370 in their first innings on the second day at a sun-drenched Trent Bridge.
But the visitors had the reins of control snatched from their grasp, as Strauss hit an undefeated 102 and Kevin Pieterson made an unbeaten 72 to help England close on 259 for two.
Ravi Rampaul was the only successful West Indies bowler with two wickets for 42 runs from 18 overs.
No other bowler – apart from Samuels with his uncomplicated off-spin darts – could effectively put a lid on the free-scoring of the two England batsmen, as they added a rollicking 136 for the third wicket, capitalising on ineffective Windies bowling on a pitch tailor-made for batting.
The Caribbean side failed to make early inroads, when fast bowler Kemar Roach twice had left-handed opener Alistair Cook caught behind off no-balls.
In the third over of the innings before lunch, Roach had Cook for one with the score on two, and then bizarrely repeated the scenario with Cook on 12 and England on 19 after the interval.
The Windies did not pay too dearly for those indiscretions, as Cook was caught behind off Rampaul for 24, after he had put on 43 with Strauss for the first wicket.
The visitors were given a sign of things to come, when England flourished thanks to two partnerships, as Strauss put on 80 for the second wicket with Jonathan Trott and increased the tempo after tea with Pietersen.
Before Rampaul trapped him lbw, Trott scored a breezy 35 from 54 balls with seven fours, but failed to add after tea, falling in the first over on resumption.
Any advantages West Indies earned were quickly erased, as Strauss and Pietersen tore into the wayward bowling with relish.
A forcing shot to the mid-wicket boundary from Shane Shillingford’s off-spin, carried Strauss to his 21st Test hundred, following up his century in the first Test last week at Lord’s, which broke a near two-year drought.
Struass has struck 18 fours from 205 balls in close to 4 ½ hours of batting, and he is now only one behind the legendary trio of Wally Hammond, Geoffrey Boycott and Colin Cowdrey on the England list of Test century-makers.
Pietersen has 10 fours and one six from 100 balls.
Earlier, Sammy made headlines when he converted his overnight, unbeaten 88 to his hundred, 20 minutes after the start of play to complete a cherished milestone in his 26th Test.
Overall, he faced 156 balls in 211 minutes and struck 17 fours and one six in what was his second first-class century.
Samuels, meanwhile, added 10 to his overnight 107 before becoming the second wicket of the morning after an innings spanning 261 balls, 346 minutes and including 16 fours.
The pair extended their record seventh-wicket partnership to 204 – the highest by any Test team in England – as West Indies added a further 66 runs for the loss of their last four wickets before they were dismissed half-hour before lunch.
Sammy started the morning confidently, moving into the 90s with a booming off-drive off Jimmy Anderson before making his way to the landmark with a couple of streaky boundaries off Stuart Broad in the next over.
The first flew over gully as he drove expansively and the second whistled through virtually the same area off a leading edge, as Sammy celebrated.
He eventually fell 25 minutes later, when he pulled Tim Bresnan to Pietersen at deep square leg in the fast bowler’s second over of the morning, leaving West Indies 340 for seven.
Samuels followed two overs later with just one run added, slashing Bresnan to Anderson at gully.
Kemar Roach and Shane Shillingford then held up England for nearly half-hour.
Roach eventually edged Bresnan to Strauss at first slip for seven before Shillingford, who played adventurously for 16 off 21 balls, played one shot too many and was stumped off Graeme Swann, after charging down the pitch to the off-spinner’s second ball of the morning.
Bresnan picked up three of the four wickets to fall to finish with four wickets for 104 runs from 27 overs, while Anderson collected two for 73 from 30 overs and Broad two for 81 from 24 overs.
West Indies trail 0-1 in the three-match series, after losing the first Test at Lord’s by five wickets.
The third Test starts on June 7 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
(overnight 304 for six)
A. Barath c Anderson b Broad 0
K. Powell c Anderson b Broad 33
K. Edwards b Anderson 7
D.M. Bravo c Swann b Anderson 3
S. Chanderpaul lbw b Swann 46
M. Samuels c Anderson b Bresnan 117
+D. Ramdin b Bresnan 1
* D. Sammy c Pietersen b Bresnan 106
K. Roach c *Strauss b Bresnan 7
S. Shillingford st Prior b Swann 16
R. Rampaul not out 6
Extras (b8, lb18, w1, nb1) 28
TOTAL (all out) 370
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Barath), 2-26 (Edwards), 3-42 (Bravo), 4-63 (Powell), 5-125 (Chanderpaul), 6-136 (+Ramdin), 7-340 (*Sammy), 8-341 (Samuels), 9-360 (Roach)
Bowling: Anderson 30-12-73-2; Broad 24-4-81-2 (nb1); Bresnan 27-4-104-4 (w1); Swann 20.2-4-62-2; Trott 5-0-24-0
ENGLAND 1st Innings
*A. Strauss not out 102
A. Cook c wkpr Ramdin b Rampaul 24
I. Trott lbw b Rampaul 35
K. Pietersen not out 72
Extras (b9, lb5, w2, nb10) 26
TOTAL (2 wkts) 259
I. Bell, J. Bairstow, +M. Prior, T. Bresnan, S. Broad, G. Swann, J. Anderson to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-43 (Cook), 2-123 (Trott)
Bowling: Roach 15-1-48-0 (nb8); Rampaul 18-4-42-2 (nb2, w2); *Sammy 15-0-69-0; Shillingford 15-2-73-0; Samuels 5-1-13-0
Overs: 68 overs
Position: England trail by 111 runs with eight first innings wickets standing
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
TV umpire: M. Erasmus (South Africa)
Match referee: R. Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: N. Mallender (England)