ANTIGUA - England’s Ian Bell and Joe Root put on an unbeaten 133 run partnership as the tourists recovered from a shaky start to reach 167 for three at tea on the first day of the first Test in Antigua. Bell was on 69 not out and Root 61 as England enjoyed total control of the afternoon session after going in on 49 for three at lunch.

West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin was rewarded for his decision to make the visitors bat as his seamers got the early breakthroughs he was hoping for. Jonathan Trott, returning to Test cricket for the first time since quitting the 2013-14 Ashes Tour with stress-related problems, went in the first over.

Trott, winning his 50th cap, edged a good delivery from Jerome Taylor to Darren Bravo who pocketed the straightforward catch at slip. England skipper Alastair Cook made 11 before he was bowled by Kemar Roach, getting an inside edge on a delivery that cut back.

The West Indies opening pair bowled a consistent full length and tight line, making it tough for England’s batsmen, but it was a wider ball from Jason Holder that removed number three Garry Balance. The Zimbabwean-born batsman reached at Holder’s full delivery and flashed a high catch to Bravo who again captured it gleefully.

England badly needed a solid partnership to steady the ship and Bell and Root delivered exactly that, picking off the looser balls from a West Indies attack that had lost its earlier precision. The one concern for England was Root’s fitness, however, with him receiving lengthy treatment for a back complaint.



A Cook b Roach    11

J Trott c Bravo b Taylor    0

G Ballance c Bravo b Holder    10

I Bell not out    10

J Root not out    11

To bat: Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, James Tredwell, James Anderson.

EXTRAS: (lb2, w5)    7

TOTAL: (3 wkts, 25 overs)    49

FOW: 1-1, 2-22, 3-34

BOWLING: Taylor 5-1-17-1, Roach 8-4-8-1, Holder 8-3-13-1, Benn 4-1-9-0

WEST INDIES: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Sulieman Benn.

UMPIRES: Billy Bowden (NZ), Steve Davis (AUS)

TV UMPIRE: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)