A stand of 132 between Cook and Bell steered England to a five-wicket win over West Indies in the first Test.
London: A stand of 132 between Alastair Cook and Ian Bell steered England to a five-wicket win over West Indies in the first Test at Lord's on Monday. Cook's 79, with 10 fours from 127 balls, and Ian Bell's unbeaten 63 from 103 balls with 10 fours clinched an ultimately comfortable victory on day five.
Kemar Roach took 3 for 60, Darren Sammy 1 for 25 and Shannon Gabriel 1 for 26, leaving England briefly in trouble early in the morning session but Cook and Bell's partnership gave the home side a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. Play began with Lord's less than half-full. Tickets were on sale to the general public but only from the North Gate, meaning long queues had formed outside the ground — the crowd at the close was estimated at 7,000.
England resumed on 10 for 2 in conditions that were again cold and blustery. Fidel Edwards sent the second ball of the day way down the leg side for four byes but quickly rediscovered his line and with Roach produced a spell of sustained hostility.
Trott edged the first ball he faced from Roach just short of slips, then played an almost identical shot to the next delivery and was caught for 13 by West Indies captain Darren Sammy. Edwards repeatedly had Pietersen in trouble and the batsman may have relaxed when he was replaced by Gabriel at the Nursery End.
Pietersen swatted a four from the third delivery of Gabriel's first over but he was out next ball, caught behind, also for 13. His wicket was greeted with a primal roar of delight by the watching former West Indies captain Viv Richards and at 57 for 4 England were wobbling but Cook and Bell scored quickly, bringing up the 100 from 154 balls.
With the bowlers running out of steam, Cook and Bell's partnership was an unbroken 74 at lunch, leaving England in control.
Both Gabriel and Roach had to leave the field for treatment in the afternoon session and a game that had threatened a pulsating conclusion became a procession, as England coasted home. The 100 partnership came off 148 balls and Bell reached his 50 from the 84th delivery he faced.
With two runs needed Cook fell to Sammy, caught at gully by Kirk Edwards. Sammy's desire not to gift England the win was further demonstrated when he then referred an lbw shout against Jonny Bairstow, but the review was unsuccessful and Bell hit the winning runs when he smashed Marlon Samuels for four through midwicket.
The second Test starts at Trent Bridge on Friday.