Birmingham(UK), (AFP) Alastair Cook’s double century put England in a commanding position against the West Indies before James Anderson struck in the inaugural day/night Test in Britain at Edgbaston.
West Indies were 44 for one in reply to England’s imposing 514 for eight declared, a deficit of 470 runs, when rain ended the second day’s play early in the third session.
Cook’s 243, his fourth Test double century, was the cornerstone of England’s total and the former captain’s dismissal prompted current skipper Joe Root to declare.
That left the West Indies with a tricky nine overs to bat in twilight before the tea interval.
That was time enough for opener Kraigg Brathwaite to be caught behind for a duck off Anderson.
Kieran Powell had made just two when the normally reliable Ben Stokes dropped him in the gully off Stuart Broad.
But come the close, Powell was 18 not out while Kyle Hope, in at nought for one, had made a heartening 25 not out for the tourists.
But by that stage both Cook and Anderson, England’s leading Test run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively, had struck telling blows.
England resumed in an immensely strong position of 348 for three in the first of this three-match series and the 50th Test at Edgbaston.
Cook was 153 not out, an innings that had already seen him extend his record tally of England Test centuries to 31.
Significantly it was also Cook’s first Test hundred in 17 innings and the 32-year-old left-handed opener’s tenth score of 150 or more at this level.
Together with Root, who made 136 after winning the toss, he’d put on 248 for the third wicket.
There was a sombre start to Friday’s proceedings with players, officials and spectators observing a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of Thursday’s terror attacks in Spain.
On the field, Cook again looked to be having a ‘net’ against an outclassed attack.
Malan, who in marked contrast to Cook is appearing in just his third Test, provided steady support during a century stand that took the total beyond 400.
His pull off Miguel Cummins, one of four seamers in the attack, saw Malan complete a 112 ball-fifty.
Cook then went to his 200 when a misfield by Kyle Hope on the third man rope — an error symptomatic of a generally sloppy team display in the field — allowed the ball to trickle through for the opener’s 30th four in 339 balls.
But West Indies did have a success on the stroke of lunch when off-spinner Roston Chase had left-hander Malan caught at slip by Jermaine Blackwood to end a partnership of 162.
Cook was 213 not out at lunch. But his chances of surpassing his highest Test score of 294, made against India at Edgbaston six years ago, were effectively undone with a rush of wickets at the other end.
Stokes reverse-swept Chase to slip before Jonny Bairstow played on to West Indies captain Jason Holder.
Moeen Ali, England’s man of the series in their recent 3 -1 win over South Africa then carelessly holed out off Chase for a duck.
That left England 506 for seven.
Cook, who now had tailender Toby Roland-Jones for company, fell to Chase — who led the attack with four wickets for 113 runs in 26.2 overs — when he missed an attempted legside flick.
For the second time this innings, the West Indies had to review a not out decision by South Africa’s Marais Erasmus to get a wicket.
But with replays indicating the ball would have hit leg stump, Cook’s marathon effort of more than nine hours was at an end
2015 Kashmir Despatch