England win first Test by five wickets
Alastair Cook and Ian Bell led England to a five-wicket victory in the first Test against the West Indies at Lord’s on Monday.
Set a target of 191 to win, England faltered at 4-57 before lunch on the fifth and final day.
But Cook (79) and Bell (63 not out) shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 132 that carried the top-ranked side to the brink of victory before left-handed opener Cook was out with two runs needed, caught in the gully off West Indies captain Darren Sammy.
Bell struck the winning boundary for a win that gave England a 1-0 lead in the three-match series heading into the second Test at Trent Bridge starting Friday.
“We felt the wicket was pretty slow and flat,” England captain Andrew Strauss said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“It looked a bit dicey at 40 odd for four but Alastair Cook and Ian Bell set about it in a very civilised manner and saw us home.”
In England’s first innings Strauss ended his 18-month wait for a Test century and the opening batsman added: “It was lovely to score that hundred and when you do that in a winning cause it makes it all the more special.”
West Indies — who hadn’t won a Test match outside the Caribbean against major opposition since defeating South Africa in Port Elizabeth in 2007 and entered this game with a record of just two wins in 30 matches — made England work for their victory and did well to take the game into the fifth day.
“We did a lot of good things and we need to look at them and repeat them more consistently,” said Sammy.
“We fancied our chances this morning but once the hardness of the ball went away, it became much easier to bat.
“An experienced batting line-up like England’s showed their class and saw them home.”
England resumed Monday on 2-10 after Kemar Roach had claimed two victims for seven runs in eight balls on Sunday, removing Strauss and nightwatchman James Anderson.
Both left-handed opener Cook and Jonathan Trott had yet to score.
Roach struck again Monday to remove Trott for 13 with a good length ball that squared him up and took the edge with Sammy, diving to his left, holding a good catch at second slip.
And 13 also proved an unlucky number for fellow South Africa-born batsman Kevin Pietersen.
He pulled Test debutant Shannon Gabriel’s third delivery for four but next ball tried to repeat the stroke and got a bottom edge to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
Cook got the home side going, completing a 78-ball fifty featuring eight fours when he late cut off-spinner Marlon Samuels and after lunch Bell followed him to the landmark in 84 balls.
West Indies were once again carried by Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
The Guyana left-hander made scores of 87 not out and 91 while spending more than 10 hours at the crease.
Together with Samuels (86) he put on 157 for the fifth wicket in the second innings as the West Indies gave their bowlers a target to defend and a chance of a first win in 15 Tests in England.
For England, the match was a personal triumph for Stuart Broad.
The fast-medium bowler took a Test-best seven for 72 in the first innings and four for 43 in the second for a match haul of 11 for 165.
Broad, who made 169 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010, became just the fourth player to take five wickets in an innings, 10 in a match and score a century in Lord’s Tests.
Only England’s Gubby Allen and Ian Botham, and Australia’s Keith Miller, had previously completed that treble.© AAP 2013