Cook And Bell Calmly Finish Off The Job For England
England 398 & 193-5 (Cook 79) beat
West Indies 243 & 345 by five wickets
First Test, Lord's
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Alastair Cook and Ian Bell scored half-centuries to guide England to a five-wicket win over the West Indies on the final day of the opening Test at Lord's.
Although Cook fell with two runs still required for victory, they showed great composure to take England to the brink having come together with their side in a tricky position of 57 for four after Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen had been dismissed, putting on 132 together.
13 proved to be an unlucky number for both men, as neither could get past it. Trott was caught by Darren Sammy in the slips as he drove at Kemar Roach and Pietersen edged Shannon Gabriel to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin as he tried to pull.
Roach finished with three for 60 as his reward for a gutsy effort but as the sun came out and the effectiveness of the new ball was blunted as it got older, England profited.
Cook put his first-innings failure behind him to marshal the run chase with 79 in 127 balls, scoring his runs at a good pace, with his favourite cut shot bringing him plenty of runs.
He was also strong on the drive and quick to punish anything straight by clipping through the leg side and it came as a surprise when he cut Sammy to Kirk Edwards - who reacted sharply to take a good catch - at gully.
Bell played with more fluency than he had in his first innings, when he scored 61, showing some deft touches to score runs through third man.
He used his feet effectively against Marlon Samuels' unthreatening off spin and then hit the winning runs himself with his fifth boundary in 103 balls with Jonathan Bairstow unbeaten at the other end on nought as England completed the job in workmanlike fashion.
Their win was set up in the first instance by Stuart Broad's haul of 11 wickets - seven of them coming in the first innings - and then Andrew Strauss's first century since November 2010. His 122 handed England the first-innings lead that meant that a brace of half-centuries from Shivnarine Chanderpaul were in vain.
The second Test in the three-match series begins at Trent Bridge on Friday (25th May).
© Cricket World 2012