Cook and Bell guide England home
Alastair Cook and Ian Bell kept their cool in the face of a spirited West Indies seam attack as England moved 1-0 ahead in the Investec Test series with a five-wicket win at Lord's.
The home side headed into the final day on 10 for two in pursuit of 191 in this first encounter of three, having lost skipper Andrew Strauss and nightwatchman James Anderson last evening.
They initially succumbed to an inspired Kemar Roach, who had Jonathan Trott caught behind during a fiery opening spell.
Kevin Pietersen then bottom-edged Shannon Gabriel behind and, with England 57 for four, West Indies dared to dream.
However, Cook played with the same assurance that has given him so much success since his remarkable performance in the Ashes 18 months ago to strike 79 - though he did depart with just two runs required when cutting Darren Sammy to Kirk Edwards at gully.
That mattered little as Bell, who followed up his first innings 61 with 63 not out, got England’s summer off to the perfect start by clipping Marlon Samuels through wide mid-on for four.
The result was disappointing for West Indies, yet they can take great heart from a fightback that began on the third evening.
Even this morning, Roach came out fighting - with the wicket of Trott just reward for his outstanding efforts.
Having bowled with a pace unrivalled by the other seamers on show, he got one to nip up the slope and catch the edge - Sammy taking a fine, sharp catch.
Pietersen looked positive from the off, mainly in his running, but fell attempting to pull a second successive Gabriel delivery to the boundary.
At that stage, there may have been jitters in the England camp - not that Cook and Bell showed any.
Hardly a false shot was played in their 132-run alliance, with the fluency of both quickly extinguishing the tourists’ hopes.
For every dab and deflection from Bell, there was a more forceful shot from his partner, who, clearly making an effort to play more freely, drove with class and pulled with vigour.
Even a burst from Roach after lunch could not halt the charge and, in the end, West Indies were left to reflect on a collapse early in their second innings that proved decisive.
Listen to England skipper Andrew Strauss' post-match thoughts after his side's five-wicket win to go 1-0 up in the Investec Test Series:
Live Text Commentary
2:36pm - ENGLAND WIN BY FIVE WICKETS! And that is that. Bairstow survives an lbw appeal - and ridiculously optimistic review - from Sammy before Bell finishes the job by clipping Samuels wide of mid-on for four. West Indies, who were fined for maintaining a slow over-rate, deserve credit for their battling performance over the five days, but the world’s number one Test team were ultimately too strong.
2:31pm - WICKET! Cook c K Edwards b Sammy 79. Eng 189/5 - Well, well - maybe Jonny Bairstow will hit the winning runs on his Test debut! Cook looks to cut Sammy but picks out Kirk Edwards in the gully.
2:29pm - A back cut from Alastair Cook takes England to within three of their target. It has been a thoroughly impressive performance from the left-hander today.
2:23pm - Cook picks up his ninth four with a thick outside edge past slip off Samuels. I’m really not sure why West Indies did not give Fidel Edwards or Shannon Gabriel another burst after lunch, but it matters little now. England move on to 178 for four and are almost home and dry.
2:14pm - FIFTY - Bell (84b 3x4 0x6) - An increasingly assured Bell moves to 50 in classy fashion, dancing down the pitch to loft Samuels back over his head for four before picking up two more with a confident cut stroke.
2:11pm - Without wishing to tempt fate, this would appear to be all over now. Just another 32 needed for England, for whom Cook has 66 and Bell 44.
2:04pm - West Indies skipper Darren Sammy is keeping faith with Samuels, and I imagine Cook and Bell are delighted. No real threat from the occasional off-spinner as yet, while Roach is struggling to match his earlier efforts and once again having trouble keeping his foot behind the line.
1:56pm - It is easy to forget that West Indies had England on the back foot just two hours ago, prior to this valuable fifth-wicket stand between Alastair Cook and Bell, which is now worth 85. Both batsmen will be determined to see it through to the end. Should either depart, Jonny Bairstow could yet mark his Test debut by striking the winning run.
1:48pm - A change to our commentary - Matthew Sherry is readying his final report so I, Chris Devine, have stepped into the breach. I must admit I am stunned to see Marlon Samuels continuing after the lunch break. The somewhat more dangerous Kemar Roach takes the ball from the Pavilion End and has Ian Bell playing and missing outside off with his third delivery.
1:41pm - Right then, the players are back out at Lord's and England require just 60 more to kick off their international summer with a victory. It is fair to say the Windies need wickets immediately if they are to keep their hopes alive.
1pm - LUNCH - ENG 131/4; Cook 53, Bell 34 - Cook moves to 49 with an authoritative pull shot off Sammy and, on the stroke of the interval, reaches his FIFTY with a late cut off Samuels. All too easy now for these two, who will likely be relaxed as they eat their lunches.
12:50pm - Part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels is into the attack and, having struck one into the stumps at the non-striker's end, Bell plays a lovely late cut through third man, only to inside-edge just past the stumps off Sammy in the next over.
12:40pm - Bell clips to leg to bring up the 100 for England, after which Cook drives beautifully through cover. Cannot help but think it's time for Roach to come back into the attack. These two are milking the runs with ease now.
12:27pm - That is a nasty collision between Cook and Sammy at the non-striker's end. Thankfully, the two are both fine, but they crashed into each other and Cook fell to the ground.
12:15pm - Last time I said things had settled down, a wicket fell. So I will not repeat that. Ian Bell and Cook are playing impressively, however, with the latter driving Gabriel down the ground for his first boundary.
12:02pm - Amid the drama, Cook is as steady as ever. He punishes Roach and Gabriel for bowling too short, cutting the former and pulling the latter. It's time for a drink. Incredible first hour.
11:49am - WICKET! Pietersen c Ramdin b Gabriel 13. ENG 57/4 - Pietersen is looking to be positive, and dismissively pulls Shannon Gabriel to the square-leg boundary. Undeterred, the bowler sends down another short one, which heralds a dream moment as Pietersen bottom-edges to Denesh Ramdin attempting to repeat the trick.
11:44am - Roach has bowled excellently, though has an issue with no-balls - he's bowled six in as many overs. Cook has generally been circumspect this morning, yet helps himself to a couple of boundaries, the second of which comes via a flowing straight drive. Things seem to be settling down a little.
11.33am - Sir Viv Richards is getting louder in the media centre, clearly starting to scent a West Indies victory. England remain favourites but the pitch seems to have quickened up a little, which makes life difficult against two express pace bowlers like Roach and Edwards. The former illustrates that point by finding just enough swing to beat Pietersen.
11:28am - The delivery to get Trott was superb, with Roach finding just enough movement up the slope to find the edge. Kevin Pietersen is off the mark, but England have a challenge on their hands.
11:21am - WICKET! Trott c Sammy b Roach 13. ENG 29/3 - Excellent batting from Trott, who clips brilliantly to the square-leg boundary off Edwards. But Roach presents a somewhat different challenge and, after nicking through the slips off the first ball of the over, Trott edges to second slip, where Darren Sammy takes a fine catch.
11:12am - Good, probing over from Kemar Roach, who beats Cook with his last delivery. Edwards, though, is still not getting it right and Jonathan Trott helps himself to a boundary with a well-timed cut through point.
11:04am - Fidel Edwards bowls the day's first over, but that's a wild delivery second up as he sprays one down the leg side for four byes. Alastair Cook then gets off the mark with a nudge to cover for one.
10:58am - The players head out on to the field and we are almost ready to go. This should be an enthralling hour. If England can get through it relatively unscathed, they will feel comfortable. If not, it could well be game on.
10:37am - Welcome to Lord's, where I am pleased to say it is bright and looking perfect for some cricket - we may even see the sun. Any England fans hoping West Indies would be competitive may have bitten off more than they can chew as we prepare for a thrilling finale. England are 10 for two chasing 191, with Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott at the crease.