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2nd Test: England reach 259-2 vs WI

Associated Press
May 26, 2012 at 11:18pm IST

Nottingham: England cut West Indies' lead to 111 on day two of the second test at Trent Bridge, reaching 259-2 at stumps on Saturday in reply to West Indies 370 all out. England captain Andrew Strauss overcame a nervous start to produce and increasingly fluent 102 not out from 205 balls with 18 fours.

Kevin Pietersen is unbeaten on 72, after a riskier innings that included a six and 10 fours from 100 balls. Ravi Rampaul took 2-42 but Kemar Roach struggled throughout the innings and twice had Alastair Cook caught behind off no balls.

Resuming on 304-6, West Indies were eventually dismissed for 370 in the morning session, an excellent recovery from 136-6 on day one. Captain Darren Sammy made his first test century, making 106 in a knock spanning 156 balls with a six and 17 fours, while Marlon Samuels made 117 (261 balls, 16 fours).

2nd Test: England reach 259-2 vs WI; trail by 111

Andrew Strauss overcame a nervous start to produce and increasingly fluent 102 not out from 205 balls.

Sammy and Samuels shared a stand of 204 for the seventh wicket, before Tim Bresnan, who took 4-104, removed both batsmen in the space of four balls. West Indies began the session confidently, Sammy smashing a four from James Anderson in the fifth over to set a new test record for a seventh wicket partnership in England - the previous mark of 174 was set by Colin Cowdrey and Godfrey Evans for England against West Indies at Lord's in 1957.

Sammy, who began the day on 88 not out, reached his century with successive boundaries off Stuart Broad, both of them from fortunate shots that found the edge of his bat but eluded the fielders. Sammy celebrated by removing his helmet to kiss the West Indies badge. He finally fell in the 101st over when he tried to pull Bresnan through deep square leg and was caught by Pietersen.

Samuels was out in Bresnan's next over, slashing a wide delivery to Anderson in the slips. Roach was dropped by Graeme Swann when he edged Broad to second slip and he made a useful stand of 19 with Shane Shillingford before he edged Bresnan to England captain Andrew Strauss for 7. Shillingford made 16 before he was stumped by Matt Prior charging down the wicket at Swann, leaving Rampaul as the last man on 6 not out.

England were left with a tricky 20-minute spell to negotiate before lunch and Cook was on 1 when he was caught by Dinesh Ramdin off Roach, only to be called back when replays showed Roach had overstepped his mark. Just six overs into the afternoon session Roach made the same mistake and this time umpire Aleem Dar signalled the no ball without needing a replay.

Cook, then on 12, moved on to 24 but his luck finally ran out when he was caught behind off a legitimate ball from Rampaul. Roach cut a tormented figure as the session went on, bowling eight no balls and sending his final delivery, a bouncer, so far down the leg side it went for four byes.

Strauss, meanwhile, was riding his luck, bringing up the 50 partnership with a streaky four off Rampaul that he nearly dragged on to his stumps. Trott appeared well-set but was lbw for 35 to Rampaul to the fourth ball after tea, a decision he unsuccessfully referred.

Pietersen smacked the first ball he faced from Shillingford over mid on for a huge six and in an over that went for 17 runs Strauss reached his 50 with a cut to third man. Pietersen then produced a "Dilscoop" - a highly risky Twenty20 shot named after Dilshan Tillakaratne.

In an almost unprecedented move in test cricket, Pietersen crouched to a Marlon Samuels delivery and flicked it back over his head for four, before sweeping Shillingford to the square leg boundary to bring up his 50. Strauss reached his hundred, from 192 balls, when he swished Shillingford to the midwicket boundary just before the close.

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