Strauss ton gives England the edge
It was a tale of two captains on day two of the second Test, with Darren Sammy and Andrew Strauss both recording centuries, but at the end of it England held the advantage.
It was a tale of two captains on day two of the second Test, with Darren Sammy and Andrew Strauss both recording centuries, but at the end of it England held the advantage at Trent Bridge.
Strauss' 102 not out, his second hundred of the series, was well supported by an aggressive Kevin Pietersen as England closed the day on 259 for two – just 111 runs behind the West Indies' first-innings total.
England deserved credit for the rate at which they scored their runs – 3.8 per over in the 68 overs faced – which ensured that there is still plenty of time to force a result on a pitch that has so far been favourable for batting.
Day two saw Sammy and Marlon Samuels resume their partnership, with the West Indies beginning on 304 for six and centurion Samuels looking to support his skipper to his first Test hundred. With Sammy on his highest ever Test score overnight (88), he needed just five overs to gather the remaining 12 runs to reach his ton.
Sammy, who only had one first-class hundred prior to this innings, scored two fours in a row against Stuart Broad, the latter a lucky edge, leaving the England bowler smiling and shaking his head while the Windies captain soaked up the applause from the crowd.
England paceman James Anderson was getting increasingly frustrated by Sammy and Samuels' resistance and, as on day one, he sent a few words down the pitch. Umpire Aleem Dar didn't enjoy the banter quite as much though, and quickly stepped in to make sure matters remained calm.
Sammy's delight lasted for four more runs before England finally got their reward. He was dismissed for 106 in the 101st over, trying to smash Bresnan but only skying it to Pietersen at deep square leg to bring a 204-run alliance to a close.
Samuels made the error of not keeping his head in the game after his skipper's departure, and followed him into the changing room soon after. The overnight hero sliced a Bresnan delivery to gully where a delighted Anderson made no mistake in getting rid of his nemesis, the score on 341 for eight.
The next wicket didn't take long to come, and the Windies lost Kemar Roach for seven with the score on 360, leaving them with one man to go. But Shane Shillingford was unable to avoid being stumped by Matt Prior and the innings came to an end with the score on 370.
England's innings began before lunch, with Strauss and Alastair Cook coming in to face Roach and company. The third over looked to have spawned a wicket, but Roach had delivered a no-ball so Denesh Ramdin's diving catch off Cook's outside edge meant nothing.
England went into lunch with their score on eight without loss, having faced a mere five overs.
After lunch, Cook had yet another lifeline, thanks to Roach over-stepping once again. It was virtually identical to the first one, minus the diving catch, and skipper Sammy was distinctly unimpressed with his paceman.
The visitors finally got their man in the 18th over, when Ravi Rampaul again drew Cook into feeling outside his off stump. The batsman got a light feather on the ball, and Ramdin had no problems with the catch and Cook went for 24.
With the score on 43, Trott strode to the middle and England continued to slowly add runs to the total. Once the runs began to flow more freely for the home side off the quick bowlers, Sammy brought on off-spinner Shane Shillingford to see if he could do some magic before tea.
He could not, and England went in to enjoy their tea on 123 for one, with both batsmen looking solid and seemingly enjoying the true pitch.
However Strauss lost his partner shortly after tea when Trott was trapped lbw by Rampaul, as Dar's original decision was upheld by the Decision Review System.
The wicket brought Pietersen to the crease in a positive mood, and England were soon racing along. Strauss brought up the fifty partnership with a glorious drive through the off side, and followed it up with another boundary through mid-on off Shillingford.
The century partnership came up off just 147 balls, with Pietersen at times getting cocky enough to lift the spinner over the keeper's head for four.
Strauss went to three figures in the final five overs of the day, leading England to shut up shop as Pietersen went to stumps with 70 not out from exactly 100 deliveries.
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