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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Cook hundred puts England on top
FIRST NPOWER TEST, LORD'S:
England 200-3 v West Indies (stumps, day one)

By Oliver Brett

Andrew Strauss
Strauss played some fine shots before throwing away his wicket

Alastair Cook hit 102 not out, his fifth century in Tests, as England dominated on an overcast first day against West Indies to end it on 200-3.

Essex left-hander Cook, 22, was at his phlegmatic best, unruffled by the frequent interruptions for bad light.

He put on 88 for the first wicket with Andrew Strauss, 59 with Kevin Pietersen for the third and added further runs with Paul Collingwood late in the day.

Corey Collymore was the most impressive of the West Indies pace bowlers.

England had picked a side without the injured Andrew Flintoff, his place taken by Middlesex batsman Owais Shah.

The last bowling spot went to Monty Panesar, the Northants spinner beating Lancashire swing bowler James Anderson to the number 11 berth.

606: DEBATE
WB

Despite heavy overnight rain, and a further shower minutes after the toss, the players took the field only half an hour late.

Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan opted to field first and attacked with three slips and a forward short leg.

But the ball did not really swing and seam as much as anyone expected despite humid conditions and an under-prepared wicket.

In truth, the bowling was not consistent enough in any event, particularly during the early exchanges.

After a nervous start, Strauss, skipper for this Test with Michael Vaughan injured, pulled Jerome Taylor for the first four of the innings in the sixth over.

Collymore replaced Taylor and was soon cut for four by both Strauss and Cook, and then driven straight down the ground in eye-catching style by the captain.

Alastair Cook celebrates his second Test century at Lord's
Alastair Cook celebrates his second Test century at Lord's

Twice just before lunch, Collymore did enough to extract edges from Strauss that went to the slip cordon, but the ball failed to carry to a catcher in each instance.

Immediately after the interval, Daren Powell finally took two wickets to lift West Indies hopes.

First, Strauss failed to transfer his weight correctly in attempting to drive the Jamaican seamer through the covers.

The ball sliced off a thick edge straight to Devon Smith at backward point.

Shah was fidgety in only his second Test, more than a year after his promising debut in Mumbai.

He was also unsettled by a throw from mid-off which hit him on the back of the neck as he ran to the striker's end.

It was no surprise when a good leg-cutter from Powell attracted the right-hander's outside edge, to be safely caught by Smith low to his right at third slip.

Shah's nervousness was replaced with the consummate confidence of Pietersen, who blazed three early drives through the covers off Powell.

Collymore and Dwayne Bravo then had Pietersen playing and missing his outswingers on a regular basis before he and Cook accepted the first offer to go off for bad light.

Corey Collymore
Corey Collymore certainly deserved his wicket of Kevin Pietersen

After 80 minutes off the field in an interval which incorporated tea, Collymore took his first wicket, and he certainly deserved it.

Pietersen's eyes lit up as he lent into a half-volley, but it was a bit slower and the Hampshire man picked out extra cover - Smith taking his third catch of the day.

All the time Cook was batting patiently, waiting for the occasional loose deliveries that came his way to cash in.

Collingwood came in to hit the ball intelligently through the gaps, running hard for twos and threes as further runs were added between two more interruptions for bad light.

The cut shot was serving Cook well. He went from 90 to 94 with one such example off Bravo and he reached his century by guiding a full toss from Powell through a gap in the covers for two.

Essex man Cook clearly loves batting at Lord's. It was his second century in three Tests in north-west London, his other appearance here bringing him 89 against Sri Lanka.

He also became one of only five Englishmen to hit five centuries in his first 15 Tests.

But after the crowd had risen as one to applaud him - more soberly than they would have done at any other English Test ground - the umpires spoilt everyone's entertainment again.

The last bit of action took place just before 1800, and though 1930 was mooted as a possible late finishing time, play was called off at 1850.

Only 56 overs had been played in the day.



SEE ALSO
Missing World Cup helped - Cook
17 May 07 |  England
We started poorly, admits Powell
17 May 07 |  England
West Indies in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket
West Indies legends
14 May 07 |  Cricket


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