WI hold edge on first day
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC):
England captain Alistair Cook stroked his first Test hundred in two years
and the 100th at historic Kensington Oval, but a brace of wickets from seamers Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel, gave West Indies the edge on the opening day of the third Test here yesterday.
Opting to bat first, the visitors finished the day on 240 for seven, with Cook carving out 105 - his 26th Test century - before falling to the second ball of the day's final over.
Left-hander Moeen Ali chimed in with 58 while the in-form Joe Root hit 33 and Ben Stokes, 22, but England were not allowed to build partnerships as West Indies struck at critical intervals to limit their progress.
Holder, who grabbed both his wickets prior to lunch, finished with two for 34 while Gabriel was again impressive in taking two for 36.
With his batsmen getting starts but failing to convert, it was left up to Cook to hold the innings together in a knock spanning just over six hours and 266 deliveries, and
including 12 fours.
He was forced to spearhead several recovery efforts. When England slumped to 38 for three in the second hour of the morning, he put on 53 with Root and then added a further 98 for the fifth wicket with Moeen when England slipped to 91 for four after lunch.
In the final session, Cook put on 44 with Stokes for the sixth wicket to keep England ticking along.
Before a massive crowd of nearly 12, 000, West Indies started brightly when Gabriel knocked over the out-of-sorts Jonathan Trott without scoring in the day's second over.
ENGLAND 1st Innings
*A. Cook c wk Ramdin b Samuels 105
J. Trott c Permaul b Gabriel 0
G. Ballance b Holder 18
I. Bell c and b Holder 0
J. Root c wk Ramdin b Permaul 33
Moeen Ali run out 58
B. Stokes c Hope b Gabriel 22
+J. Buttler not out 0
Extras (w1, nb3) 4
Total (6 wkts, 89.2 overs ) 240
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Trott), 2-38 (Ballance), 3-38 (Bell), 4-91 (Root), 5-189 (Ali), 6-233 (Stokes), 7-240 (Cook)
Bowling: Taylor 15-7-33-0 (nb3), Gabriel 12-2-36-2 (w1), Holder 16-4-34-2, Samuels 26.2-5-51-1, Permaul 20-1-86-1.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, Bruce Oxenford; TV - Steve Davis.