London Andrew Strauss hit his first century in 26 innings to lead England to 259 for 3 against West Indies at stumps on day two of the first Test, surging into a lead of 16 on Friday. Strauss' unbeaten 121, which came from 249 balls with 19 boundaries, was jubilantly received by the Lord's crowd and put England in charge.
Jonathan Trott made 58, with six fours from 134 balls on a frustrating day for West Indies, for whom Marlon Samuels was the most effective bowler with 1 for 34. Earlier, West Indies was all out for 243 to the first ball of the day when Stuart Broad, who took a career-best 7 fro 72, dismissed debutant Shannon Gabriel to give England the best possible start.
Broad's previous best performance was 6 for 46 against India at Trent Bridge in 2011. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was left stranded on his overnight score of 87 not out, after Broad had debutant Gabriel caught at second slip by Graeme Swann for a first-ball duck.
England advanced to 47 before Alastair Cook dragged a Kemar Roach ball onto his stumps and was bowled for 26. Strauss played the occasional ugly shot, but grew in confidence alongside Trott, who looked characteristically unflustered until he survived an lbw call by the slimmest of margins early in the afternoon session.
In the 25th over Trott was rapped on the pad by West Indies captain Darren Sammy. Umpire Aleem Dar ruled Trott not out, but Sammy asked for a referral, which showed that a fraction less than half the ball would have hit the stumps — meaning the decision couldn't be overturned.
England went half an hour after lunch without scoring a boundary, but Sammy then conceded 22 runs from successive overs as Strauss moved up a gear. Strauss passed 50 with his ninth four but nerves seemed to affect him in the evening session as he moved towards his century.
On 95 he had a double reprieve when he swished at a ball from Fidel Edwards and edged it straight to Chanderpaul, who dropped an easy chance just as umpire Dar was signalling a no-ball. West Indies got an urgently needed wicket when Sammy had Trott caught behind in the 64th over — ending a 147-run stand — but Strauss brought up his century, from 213 balls, when he cut Sammy through backward point.
Having failed to score a ton since November 2010 Strauss had been under increasing pressure from sections of the British media, but the admiration of England's fans and his own teammates was seldom in doubt. Strauss was given a standing ovation by the crowd and his colleagues on the dressing room balcony, an almost suffocating bear hug from his batting partner Kevin Pietersen, and he even received sporting handshakes from his opponents.
Pietersen was in punchy form for 32 but he was caught behind trying to cut Marlon Samuels in the 77th over, after a single from Strauss from the previous delivery had brought up the 50 partnership and taken England into the lead.
West Indies' frustration was compounded when Edwards pulled with an apparent leg injury after bowling just two deliveries with the new ball, but with the light fading play was immediately suspended and then abandoned for the day.