Cook completes welcome century

Published: Tuesday 7th April 2015 by The News Editor

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England captain Alastair Cook completed a confidence-boosting century on the second morning of England’s first tour match in the West Indies.

Cook resumed on 95 and reached three figures with minimal fuss before retiring to allow the rest of the line-up time in the middle.

The modest nature of the St Kitts & Nevis Invitation XI made it one of the simpler hundreds he has ever scored but after being ditched from the one-day side on the eve of the World Cup, any runs are welcome.

Cook, whose last England ton came in a tour game at Hobart in November 2013, finished with 101 from 200 deliveries.

At lunch England were 261 for three, with Ian Bell on 28no and Joe Root on 37no.

Cook steered a thick edge to the boundary from the first ball of the day to reach 99 and in the following over punched the ball for two off the back foot.

He offered a gentle wave of the bat and a handshake to partner Gary Ballance before heading back to the pavillion.

Ballance was struggling for fluency and dug himself into something of a rut by the time he departed for 16.

He was undone by the left-arm spin of Elvin Berridge, who has never played first-class cricket and was used last week as a net bowler by England.

Ballance was the author of his own downfall, turning Berridge straight to short leg.

The number three will get another chance, perhaps two, before the Test series begins and will be looking to regain some of the touch that brought him three Test hundreds last summer.

Root was next man in and almost immediately overtook Bell, who was holding his end in watchful fashion.

Root showed an attacking intent that had been entirely absent from the top four, looking to score from the off but lacking some of the requisite timing.

He would have scored more freely had Steve Liburd not been stationed at silly point, with Root hitting him on three separate occasions in the same over.

His lively innings should have ended on 19 when Quinton Boatswain took the new ball and immediately found the outside edge.

The ball sailed straight in to Jacques Taylor’s hands at first slip and bounced straight out again, much to the bowler’s frustration.

Jeremiah Louis found some swing from the other end, and hit a solid line and length to quell the scoring rate.

Published: Tuesday 7th April 2015 by The News Editor

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