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Strauss Leads Strong England Response Back

  • England vs WI – Second Test – Trent Bridge

Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy both hit centuries in West Indies 370

England were making good progress as they began their response to a West Indies total of 370 on day two of the second Investec Test at Trent Bridge.

Having dismissed their opponents for a competitive total in the morning session, the home side reached 123 for one at tea, with captain Andrew Strauss on 45not out and Jonathan Trott unbeaten on 35.

Alastair Cook was the man out for 24, having twice been caught behind off Kemar Roach no-balls, while Windies skipper Darren Sammy had earlier scored 106, a maiden Test century.

England would have been reasonably happy with their morning’s work in the field, taking the remaining four West Indies wickets for 66 runs on what remained an essentially flat track.

Sammy was even more pleased, though, as he turned his overnight 88 into a hundred in quick time.

He rode his luck on day one and did so again to reach his landmark. After one cleanly-hit drive off Anderson he brought up his ton with a pair of fortunate fours against Broad.

Neither went where he intended, the first skewed over the cordon and the second just clearing Ian Bell at backward point despite Sammy aiming for mid-wicket.

Nevertheless, his 140-ball knock – just his second first-class century – was worthy of his whole-hearted celebrations.

Tim Bresnan then hit back for England, ending Sammy’s stay – and a 204-run partnership with Marlon Samuels – with a short ball that was scooped to Kevin Pietersen at deep mid-wicket.

Samuels had added only 10 to his overnight 107 when he followed, aiming a loose drive at Bresnan and picking out Anderson in the gully.

Roach was dropped by Graeme Swann on nought, but managed only seven before guiding Bresnan, who finished with four for 104, to Strauss at first slip.

Swann wrapped things up, with Shane Shillingford stumped by Matt Prior for 16.

That left five overs before lunch, which would have been enough for Roach to dismiss Cook for one had he not been called for no-balling.

If that reprieve was galling for the Windies, it is hard to imagine how they felt when Roach served up an exact replica six overs into the afternoon session. Again he found Cook’s edge, again wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin pouched the catch and again Aleem Dar chalked it off for over-stepping.

Yet the lesson was not learned, with Roach serving up six no-balls in seven overs, much to the crowd’s mirth, before being hauled out of the attack.

Strauss and Cook started cagily but cashed in fully on anything loose – Cook crashing Ravi Rampaul through mid-wicket and point and Strauss cutting the same bowler powerfully to the ropes.

Cook fed his fourth boundary to a vacant third-man but was gone three balls later for 24, nicking Rampaul to Ramdin. This time he had to go, with Roach clearly relieved his errors went largely unpunished.

Strauss eased Sammy through the covers to bring up England’s 50 but was well beaten on the outside edge in Rampaul’s 11th over.

A full-toss and a mis-field gifted Strauss two boundaries in six balls, with Jonathan Trott milking the returning Roach for successive fours of his own.

The Warwickshire batsman was beginning to time the ball nicely after a watchful start, adding 13 off a single Sammy over – finding the boundary boards three times within a matter of moments.

That flurry took England racing into three figures and he followed with four more off Shillingford’s off-spin.

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