Captain Strauss leads from the front

England

Any talk that Andrew Strauss's place in the England team was in danger was quashed as the captain hit an unbeaten ton to lead his side to 259 for three against the West Indies.

Any talk that Andrew Strauss's place in the England team was in danger was quashed on day two at Lord's as the captain hit an unbeaten ton to lead his side to a healthy 259 for three against the West Indies.

There were murmurs that the England skipper was under a bit of pressure after a lean period with the bat, but Strauss composed a fine 121 not out – his first Test hundred since December 2010 – to silence those who questioned whether he should still be in the team.

The left-hander looked untroubled for most part of the day, but the nervous 90s nearly cost him his wicket as he got a life on 95. Fidel Edwards drew the edge, but luckily for Strauss the fast bowler overstepped and, to add insult to injury, the catch was dropped at slip.

The England captain duly made the most of it as he went to his ton with a lovely four through point. The relief was clear for all to see as he celebrated with a yelp and a fist pump.

Strauss was kept company for most of the day by Jonathan Trott who made 58 during their second-wicket partnership of 147. The No 3 had a few nervous moments on his way to his 10th half-ton.

First a review for lbw off Darren Sammy's bowling saw the ball just clip the leg stump and then the Windies decided not to use their second review after he appeared to have got the faintest of nicks off another delivery from the Windies captain an over later.

Trott's innings finally came to an end when he edged a good one from Sammy to Ramdin.

That opened the door for Kevin Pietersen to play a typically entertaining knock of 32 with five fours, but he also edged one behind, this time off part-time spinner Marlon Samuels.

Ian Bell, unbeaten on five, will accompany Strauss to the crease when play resumes on day three.

Earlier England needed just one delivery to wrap up the West Indian innings on the second morning.

It was only fitting that Stuart Broad, who did the bulk of the damage on Thursday, remove number 11 Shannon Gabriel to secure career-best figures of seven for 72 and dismiss the West Indies for 243.

Gabriel, facing his first ball in Test cricket, could only fend a tame edge to second slip, where Graeme Swann pouched an easy catch.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul's hopes of scoring a 27th Test century were thus scuppered, with the veteran left stranded on 87 not out.

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