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Joe Root slams 13th ton, Alastair Cook nears century in Pink Ball Test vs West Indies

Joe Root continued his magnificent form as he blasted his 13th century while Alastair Cook neared yet another century on the first day of the Pink Ball Test against West Indies in Birmingham.

cricket Updated: Aug 17, 2017 23:38 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Birmingham
England vs West Indies,England cricket team,West Indies cricket team
Joe Root slammed his 13th Test century while Alastair Cook neared a ton as England dominated the West Indies in the Pink Ball Test in Birmingham.(Action Images via Reuters)

Joe Root and Alastair Cook played sublimely to lead England to a commanding 215 for two at tea on the opening day of their first day-night Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Captain Root moved on to 103 not out and Cook was unbeaten on 85 as England recovered strongly from another poor start with the bat when they slumped to 39 for two after winning the toss.

Root would have been hoping for a steady opening stand but Mark Stoneman, making his debut as Cook’s latest partner, was bowled off-stump by a fine delivery from Kemar Roach.

Miguel Cummins trapped Tom Westley lbw, the West Indies successfully reviewing the umpire’s not out decision to leave England in trouble at the start of the three-match series.

Cook and Root dug in, however, taking advantage of good batting conditions and wayward bowling with a flurry of crisp boundaries to give their side a solid platform.

Cook brought up his fifty shortly before lunch and Root soon followed him to the milestone, posting a half-century for the 11th Test in a row to equal the record in five-day cricket.

The prolific right-hander continued to play immaculate strokes all round the ground and he reached his 13th Test hundred by sweeping off spinner Roston Chase for his 19th four.

England, fresh from beating South Africa 3-1, are strong favourites to overcome a callow West Indies side without many of their leading players due to contractual disputes with their cricket board.

The fifth ever day-night Test and first in England, played with an unfamiliar pink ball, was expected to offer the touring side their best chance of an upset and they will be hoping the ball behaves more unpredictably when the floodlights are turned on in the final session.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 22:57 IST