Cook and Trott hold firm

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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England made their first century opening stand in more than two years as Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott safely negotiated the first hour on day three of the second Test.

Resuming on 74 without loss against the West Indies, the pair batted with calmness and caution to take their stand to 102 after 42 overs.

The last time the side’s first-wicket reached three figures was against New Zealand at Dunedin in March 2013, when Cook and his then partner Nick Compton put on 231.

It has been a lean time at the head of the innings since then, with Compton, Joe Root, Michael Carberry and Sam Robson all failing to establish themselves alongside Cook.

Cook brought up the landmark by forcing leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo through the covers for two then worked a single to reach his own half-century.

At drinks the England captain had exactly 50 not out from 135 balls, with Trott 43no from 125 as they built a reply to the Windies’ 299 all out.

Conditions were easily the best of the match for the batsmen, with blue skies, a gentle breeze and virtually no movement off the pitch.

Play started 15 minutes early at 9.45am in an attempt to claw back some of the 50 overs that were lost to rain on the first two days at the National Stadium.

Shannon Gabriel immediately cranked up the pace to 93mph, sending a vicious bouncer at Trott, but he was able to duck out of the way.

Neither he nor Cook took any risks, adding 28 runs in 16 overs before the first drinks break.

The closest the hosts came to success saw Kemar Roach find the edge of Trott’s bat in the eighth over of the morning, but the ball grounded almost instantly and scuttled to third man for four.

Trott’s half-century followed in the 46th over, when he guided his 137th delivery into the off side for one.

It was his 19th Test fifty, with plenty of water under the bridge since number 18 came at the Oval in August 2013.

Trott left the subsequent Ashes tour after just one match and was later diagnosed with situational anxiety that kept him off the international circuit for 18 months.

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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