Alastair Cook and captain Joe Root scored hundreds when England dominated the West Indies in the opening day / night test on English soil at Edgbaston on Thursday. England were 348 for three on stumps on the first day of what is only the fifth day / night trial around the world. Cook was not out after more than six hours in the fold. Along with Root (136), he placed 248 for the third wicket
The past and current captains of England had met with their hesitant side to 39 for two after both debutant Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley had been fired by eight.
Dawid Malan, given a breather in two, was 28 not out at the close.
“Today was about making sure we get into a position of strength and we push it forward,” Root told Sky Sports.
“After the start, I felt like a day, because we went for a flier. The atmosphere was electric and for Cooky at 150 it’s not great.”
Borders flowed throughout the day and West Indian bowling coach Roddy Estwick admitted: “We did not have one of our best days.
“If you are granting 53 limits on a day that shows a lack of discipline.”
Root’s eleventh in the successive Tests was a new England record and just a shy one from AB’s South Villiers AB mark of 12.
For Cook, who was already the best squire in the test of England and creator of the century, this was his 31st hundred on this level.
The West Indies, the dominant trial cricket force in the 1970s and 1980s, have fought far from home.
Over the past 20 years, excluding parties against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, they have won only three of 86 trials outside the Caribbean.
They arrived in England without several star players, the legacy of a bitter dispute with the managers of the West Indies and the attractiveness of the tournament Twenty20 of the Caribbean Premier League that is celebrated at the same time as this series.
However, they still had two early wickets under the sunny blue sky that promised ideal batting conditions.
The first two shots by Stoneman in the test cricket were four by Kemar Roach.
But that was as good as Stoneman’s, brought after England fell to Keaton Jennings after a series of low scores during the previous 3-1 home win against South Africa.
– discreet cook –
Roach cleaned Stoneman with a magnificent ball that threw himself on the middle stump and cut off the top of the off.
Westley was then under review to Miguel Cummins.
Cook and Root, however, repaired the damage. Just before the break for lunch, the left cook, completed a ball of 74 balls fifty.
After lunch, Root went to an 83-fifty ball when a blinking cut of opposing captain Jason Holder flew across the slips for four.
Root, who made 190 against South Africa in his first match as England captain in Lord’s last month, pulled out Roston Chase’s spinner to the fine leg for a ninth limit that saw him complete his 13th century test in 139 balls.
The cook then went to an underestimated but no less valuable 182-ball hundred with a single out Chase.
In spite of all that the pink ball could do and the difficulties of striking in the twilight, it seemed as if the main pillars of England came to an end.
Root, however, was thrown between the bat and the cushion by the persevering cockroach.
Malan cut off part-time spinner Kraigg Brathwaite then hit Jermaine Blackwood before the landslide could react.
West Indies’ woes intensified as Paceman Holder left the field with a neck injury in the middle of a bowling game before Cook’s 23-year-old Alzarri Joseph’s pitcher took him to 150.