Skippers steady their teams total


England were 259 for two in reply to West Indies’ first innings 370, a deficit of 111 runs, at the close of the second day of the second Test at Trent Bridge on Saturday. England captain Andrew Strauss was 102 not out and Kevin Pietersen 72 not out. England captain Andrew Strauss led England’s reply after West Indies skipper Darren Sammy scored his maiden Test hundred. At tea, England were 123 for one — a deficit of 247 runs after West Indies had made 370 in their first innings.
Strauss was 45 not out and Jonathan Trott 35 not out, with their unbroken second-wicket stand of 80 coming in just 101 balls. Alastair Cook, Strauss’s fellow left-handed opener, was the man out in the session, for 24, after twice being ‘caught’ behind off no-balls. Fast bowler Kemar Roach repeatedly over-stepped — his 10 overs had so far featured eight no-balls. One of those was when Cook, whose 79 helped England to a five-wicket win at Lord’s that gave England a 1-0 lead in this three-match series, was brilliantly caught one-handed by diving wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin for one. However, Cook was recalled after umpire Aleem Dar used television technology to check for a no-ball he hadn’t called on the field. It was a similar story when the paceman, angling the ball had Cook, on 12, edging a regulation catch to Ramdin.
This time, however, Dar had signalled the no-ball himself. But Cook wasn’t able to make the most of his double reprieve. Ravi Rampaul, who missed the first Test with a neck injury, produced an excellent rising delivery which Cook could only nick to the reliable Ramdin, who made no mistake as he ‘caught’ the Essex batsman for the third time.
Rampaul kept things tight in an opening spell of one for 28 in 11 overs. But the pitch was still a good one on which to bat. Strauss’s back-foot force for four off Sammy brought up England’s fifty while Trott got off the mark with a cover-driven boundary against the medium-pacer. Eventually, with England 96 for one, Sammy brought on Shane Shillingford after the off-spinner had been left out at Lord’s.