Strauss 169 helps England bury the double misery
England 301/3 on day one:
Skipper Andrew Strauss’s 15th Test hundred helped England bury the
double misery of their Jamaica humiliation and the abandoned second Test
on the opening day of the third Test on Sunday.
Strauss hit 169, and there were half-centuries for Owais Shah and
Alastair Cook, as England, sent in to bat by the West Indies, reached
301 for three in their first innings when stumps were drawn at the
Antigua Recreation Ground.
Strauss turned his over-pitched 169th delivery from Daren Powell
through backward square leg for two to reach the milestone to help make
his team’s 51 all out in the first Test, and Friday’s aborted Test, a
distant memory. He put on 123 for the first wicket with Cook before
Shah, who was replacing Ian Bell, joined him to add 153 for the second
wicket before they both departed in the final period of the day.
“It was important we came out positive today just to show there is a
lot of fight in us and we did that from ball one,” said Strauss. “On
this pitch it is not that easy to get ones, it’s easier to get
boundaries than get ones.
“And once me and Cooky (Alastair Cook) were in we decided that if the
shot was on we should back ourselves and go for the shot.” But Strauss
was fortunate. On 47, West Indies captain Chris Gayle dropped him at
slip off Sulieman Benn before he steered Jerome Taylor to third man for
two to bring up his 50.
Then on 71, he edged Ryan Hinds between wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin
and slip fielder Gayle for the 10th of his 24 fours before he reached
Strauss and Cook had provided England with a firm foundation. They
carried England to 58 without loss at lunch before Cook was caught at
slip off Gayle for 52 after the interval.
Shah entered and immediately announced himself with a cracking
back-foot drive off his first ball from Gayle. They took England to 206
for one at tea before Shah was run out for 57, when he failed to beat a
direct hit from Taylor on his follow-through going for a suicidal run.
Strauss continued to stroke the ball crisply, but Gayle claimed the
second new ball with England on 291 for two after 87 overs and was
rewarded with the prized scalp of the left-handed opener.
Trying to pull a short, rising ball from Fidel Edwards, Strauss only
succeeded in giving the bowler a simple return catch. He batted for five
minutes short of six hours, faced 277 balls, and also struck a six, a
lovely straight hit out of the ground off Benn.
A. Strauss c and b Edwards................. 169
A. Cook c D.S. Smith b Gayle............. 52
O. Shah run out (Taylor) .................... 57
K. Pietersen not out ................................... 8
J. Anderson not out....................................3
EXTRAS (B-6, W-1, NB-5)... 12
TOTAL (3 wkts).................. 301
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-123 (Cook), 2-276 (Shah), 3-295 (Strauss)
BOWLING: Taylor 15-3-37-0 (nb1); Edwards 15-2-41-1 (nb3, w1); Powell 11-2-40-0; Gayle 12-1-35-1;
Benn 17-2-62-0 (nb1); Hinds 15-2-59-0; Nash 7-2-21-0
West Indies: C. Gayle (capt), D. Smith, R. Sarwan, R. Hinds, S. Chanderpaul, B. Nash, D. Ramdin, J. Taylor, S. Benn, D. Powell, F. Edwards