Cook, Root shine for England in Windies day/nighter

2017-08-17 17:34
Alastair Cook (AP)

Birmingham - The first day/night Test in England saw Alastair Cook and Joe Root in the familiar position of rebuilding the innings after the West Indies made early inroads at Edgbaston on Thursday.

England were 108 for two at lunch on the first day of the series opener, with Cook exactly 50 not out and captain Root, who won the toss, 40 not out.

Former skipper Cook and successor Root had so far added an unbroken 69 for the third wicket.

They joined forces at 39 for two after Test debutant Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley were both dismissed for eight.

The fifth day/night Test worldwide saw Root win the toss at 1:30pm local time (1230 GMT) under blue skies and on a good pitch.

It was enough to encourage the Yorkshireman to bat first, for all the concerns about facing the pink ball and the difficulties of batting in twilight later on.

After Cook got off the mark first ball, fellow left-hander Stoneman's first two scoring shots in Test cricket were both fours.

The 30-year-old eased Kemar Roach through the covers before clipping him off his pads.

It was an encouraging start by the Surrey batsman -- Cook's 12th England opening partner since Andrew Strauss retired five years ago.

But that was as good as it got for Stoneman, brought in after England dropped Keaton Jennings following a run of low scores during the preceding 3-1 home Test series victory against South Africa.

Roach produced a superbly sharp delivery that pitched on middle stump and clipped the top of off to clean bowl Stoneman and leave England 14 for one.

Westley, still to cement his place at number three, was then lbw on review after missing a drive off first-change Miguel Cummins, with replays showing the ball would have smashed into the right-hander's middle and leg stumps.

But Cook, who had a lucky break when he edged West Indies captain Jason Holder through a gap in the slips, and Root repaired the damage with a succession of boundaries.

Cook drove Alzarri Joseph, one of four quicks in the attack, though the covers and Root handed out similar treatment to Holder, bidding to lead the West Indies to their first Test match win in England since 2000.

Just before the interval Cook, England's all-time leading Test run-scorer, completed a 74-ball fifty including 10 fours.

Read more on:    england  |  west indies  |  alastair cook  |  cricket

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