TEST: West Indies 44-1 in response to England’s 514-8d
Alastair Cook remorselessly churned out 243 as England tightened their grip on West Indies on day two of the day-night Test at Edgbaston. Cook batted for almost 10 hours, his eventual dismissal prompting England’s declaration at 514-8.
Dawid Malan, looking to secure a place at number five, scored 65, his maiden Test half-century. West Indies had reached 44-1, 470 behind, when rain forced the players off with 26 overs left to bowl.
That was a decent effort from the tourists, who spent a day and a half in the field and were facing the pink ball in cold, cloudy conditions. Still, West Indies, who have not won a Test in the UK since 2000, face a huge task simply to avoid the follow-on.
Play will start half an hour earlier than scheduled at 13:30 BST on the remaining three days Saturday to make up for the lost overs. Cook was in good touch in the 3-1 series win over South Africa, but did not make the big score he seemed capable of.
That continued a trend in the former captain’s batting that dates back for four years – in his previous 98 innings he had converted only five of his 31 half-centuries into hundreds.
Here, he picked up from his overnight 153 and methodically gorged himself on a tame West Indies attack that at least showed some improvement from the first day.
Whereas Cook played uncharacteristic cover drives on Thursday, his Friday accumulation was with more familiar cuts and clips off the pads. He barely scored a run down the ground.
He looked to up the pace after lunch, an England plan that saw Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali fall cheaply. Cook finally made a misjudgement to play across the line to Roston Chase, the off-spinner earning an lbw decision on review for figures of 4-113.
England declared just as the clouds began to close in and fears that West Indies could capitulate were enhanced when Kraigg Brathwaite edged James Anderson behind without a run on the board. However, Kieran Powell and debutant Kyle Hope found a way to survive, although both needed some good fortune.
Powell was reprieved by Stokes at gully on two and Hope survived a tough chance that barely carried to Moeen at third slip, both off Stuart Broad.
Rain had been forecast for earlier in the day, but when it arrived just before 19:30 it quickly became apparent that no further play would be possible.