Sizzling Strauss slakes run-thirst
Andrew Strauss made his second century in as many Tests, his 21st in all, as England bore down on West Indies’ first-innings 370 all out on day two of the second Investec Test at Trent Bridge.
It was sweet success for Strauss, who prior to his ton in the five-wicket win at Lord’s had not scored one in Tests since November 2010.
The England captain today overcame early uncertainty to share a fifty stand with Jonathan Trott and an unbroken hundred partnership with Kevin Pietersen, who himself contributed a half-century.
By stumps Strauss had 102 and Pietersen 72 in a total of 259 for two, 111 behind, with the alliance standing at 136.
Strauss had put on 80 with Trott, who was lbw to Ravi Rampaul for 35 in the over after tea. Rampaul earlier had Alastair Cook caught behind after the opening batsman twice edged to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin from Kemar Roach no-balls.
Tim Bresnan this morning removed centurions Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels in consecutive overs as the hosts fought back following the Windies’ dominance in the second half of yesterday.
Sammy, who resumed with 88 of 304 for six, went to three figures with consecutive edged fours off Stuart Broad but holed out to deep square-leg for 106, ending a stand worth 204.
Samuels was then held at gully for 10 more than his overnight 107, like Sammy his highest international score.
Roach was a third wicket for 10 runs from 19 balls for Bresnan, who finished with 4-104 from 27 overs, and Shane Shillingford was stumped off Graeme Swann’s second ball of the day, leaving England 20 minutes to bat before lunch.
6:11pm - STUMPS - Eng 259/2; Strauss 102, Pietersen 72 - The third-wicket duo take no risks in the closing overs and leave the field to rapturous applause from a glowing Trent Bridge crowd.
5:56pm - STRAUSS CENTURY (192b 18x4 0x6) - Strauss flicks Shillingford to midwicket for his 18th four to go to three figures for the second time in two Tests.
5:48pm - Strauss paddle-sweeps Shillingford for two to move to 98. Pietersen then strikes Sammy for two powerful off-side fours.
5:39pm - CENTURY PARTNERSHIP AND PIETERSEN FIFTY (78b 6x4 1x6) - The hundred alliance comes up off Shillingford, whom Pietersen then sweeps for his sixth four to reach a half-century.
5:36pm - Strauss powerfully cuts Sammy for four to move into the 90s. Can he make two hundreds in as many Tests, having gone so long without one?
5:26pm - Pietersen scoops part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels over the keeper for four in typically flamboyant fashion. The crowd is becoming increasingly vocal as the day’s play nears it end.
5:24pm - Pietersen flicks Darren Sammy to deep midwicket for a single, which takes England to 200. Gloveman Ramdin is standing up to Sammy’s bowling.
5:10pm - Following a flurry of runs, Strauss and Pietersen have settled down somewhat but still appear at ease.
4:51pm - Strauss drives Shillingford for back-to-back fours, the first heralding the fifty partnership with Pietersen.
4:45pm - Kemar Roach returns at the Radcliffe Road End where he had problems with overstepping before tea. Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin fails to gather two consecutive balls to concede six runs before inside edges from Strauss and Pietersen yield five more.
4:37pm - A sweep from Strauss, off Shillingford, brings another four and takes England past 150. The captain then repeats the trick two balls later. Runs have flowed freely this evening despite Trott’s departure in the first over of the session.
4:28pm - It looks as though Pietersen is in no mood to hang around. He clips Rampaul through midwicket for a delightful four to move to 14 from 11 deliveries. Shillingford then finds prodigious turn to discomfort the right-hander for the first time. England now 148 for two after 40 overs.
4:21pm - FIFTY - STRAUSS (116b 10x4 0x6) - Pietersen opts against taking a look at Shane Shillingford and instead smashes the first ball he faces from the off-spinner down the ground for six! Strauss then gets in on the act with consecutive cuts for four, with the second of those bringing up his half-century.
4:16pm - Rampaul is finding reverse swing on a consistent basis now to pose problems for Strauss and new batsman Kevin Pietersen, who gets off the mark with a typically tight single.
4:07pm - WICKET! Trott lbw Rampaul 35; Eng 123/2 - Ravi Rampaul gets one to swing back into Trott’s pads in the first over after tea. The batsman calls for a review, but fails to overturn umpire Aleem Dar’s original decision as replays show the ball would have clipped the outside of leg stump.
4:02pm - Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott resume their respective innings at Trent Bridge. A big session coming up here as England look to make further inroads into West Indies’ first-innings total.
3:40pm - TEA - Eng 123/1; Strauss 45, Trott 35 - The batsmen each pick up another four before the interval, which comes in the nick of time for West Indies who are beginning to look ragged.
3:28pm - Trott produces a picture-perfect cover drive for four to herald England’s hundred and then twice cuts the same bowler to the rope.
3:21pm - Strauss fortuitously inside-edges Sammy for four to bring up his fifty partnership with Trott. Off-spinner Shane Shillingford is introduced from the Pavilion End.
3:14pm - Strauss picks up two fours in Sammy’s next over, the first straight-driven and the other cut beyond Marlon Samuels’ misfield. Trott then cover-drives and edges Roach for back-to-back fours.
3:05pm - Strauss plays and misses with an attempted cut at Sammy and then edges the same bowler just wide of Darren Bravo at a solitary slip to move to 25.
2:59pm - Roach, who bowled six no-balls in seven overs from the Radcliffe Road End, has been switched to the Pavilion End in place of Rampaul.
2:49pm - Jonathan Trott gets off the mark by sweetly cover-driving Sammy to the rope. Thank you to Investec for the ice creams that have just come round the press box!
2:39pm - Strauss drives Sammy off the back foot for his third four, which takes England past 50.
2:32pm - WICKET! Cook c Ramdin b Rampaul 23; Eng 43/1 - Third time lucky for Denesh Ramdin, who takes another catch off Cook’s outside edge, but this one gives Rampaul a breakthrough.
2:13pm - Roach continues to have difficulty with overstepping, Cook cutting his sixth no-ball of the innings for four. Darren Sammy then replaces the beleaguered paceman at the Radcliffe Road End.
2.02pm - Roach again has Cook caught behind, this time on 12, but once more it is a no-ball. This time Aleem Dar immediately calls the indiscretion, much to the crowd’s pleasure.
1:58pm - Cook emphatically pulls Rampaul for four, showing that this pitch is still perfect for batting. There is a moment of confusion later in the over when Strauss sends Cook back, but no harm is done.
1:42pm - Ravi Rampaul gets the afternoon session under way from the Pavilion End, initially bowling to Alastair Cook who cuts him for a powerful four. Kemar Roach follows up with a maiden to Andrew Strauss.
1:01pm - LUNCH - Eng 8/0; Strauss 4, Cook 2 - With Cook reprieved, he and Strauss negotiate five overs as England reach the interval unscathed.
12:59pm - Strauss gets off the mark with an aerially cut four off Roach from the 13th ball he faces.
12:51pm - Cook is caught behind off Roach on one, but survives when replays show the bowler has overstepped. Cook initially walks but is recalled to cheers from a capacity crowd.
12:41pm - Roach bowls the first over of England’s innings to Strauss, conceding just one for a no-ball. Rampaul takes the second, initially to Alastair Cook who picks up a single.
12:29pm - WICKET! Shillingford st Prior b Swann 16; WI 370 all out - Shillingford, who had hit a couple of fours, advances to Swann’s second ball today and is comfortably stumped by Matt Prior to leave the Windies all out for a creditable 370.
12:17pm - WICKET! Roach c Strauss b Bresnan 7; WI 360/9 - The right-hander edges and Andrew Strauss dives to his right at first slip to hold on.
12:10pm - Anderson replaces Broad at the Pavilion End.
12:02pm - Graeme Swann cannot hold a tough low chance to catch Roach off Broad at second slip, but the batsman gets two runs and follows up with an exquisite cover drive for four.
11:54am - WICKET! Samuels c Anderson b Bresnan 117; WI 341/8 - Samuels gets a thick edge to gully, ending his most productive international innings and leaving tailenders Kemar Roach and Shane Shillingford in situ.
11:45am - WICKET! Sammy c Pietersen b Bresnan 106; WI 340/7 - Having thick-edged the previous ball for four, Sammy pulls Bresnan down Kevin Pietersen’s throat at deep square-leg to end a stand worth 204.
11:41am - A Broad no-ball takes Samuels and Sammy’s alliance to 200. Both, Sammy in particular, have become becalmed since the skipper’s landmark.
11:32am - Tim Bresnan takes over from Anderson and his first ball, to Marlon Samuels, goes for four leg-byes.
11:20am - CENTURY - SAMMY (140b 16x4 1x6) - Sammy twice consecutively edges Broad for four over gully to reach his maiden international ton, a massive boost for him as captain and for the tourists as they seek to post a big total.
11:16am - Sammy produces a textbook cover-driven four off Anderson to move into the 90s and bring up the highest seventh-wicket Test partnership in the UK. Anderson beats him with the next ball.
11:08am - Darren Sammy nearly plays on to Anderson without addition to his overnight 88, but his back-foot defence evades the stumps during another maiden.
11:00am - James Anderson opens up from the Radcliffe Road End with a ball that is only 10 overs old. Stuart Broad begins with a maiden from the Pavilion End.
10:45am - England, who had reduced the Windies to 136 for six yesterday afternoon, were frustrated by the tourists’ fightback. James Anderson, who took two wickets and as many catches in the morning, and Samuels reflected on the first day’s play.
10:30am - Good morning from Trent Bridge where we again have sunshine and a cloudless sky for day two of the second Investec Test. West Indies fought back strongly yesterday thanks to an unbroken 168-run stand between Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy, who will resume on 107 and 88 respectively in a total of 304 for six. Play is due to begin on time at 11am.