BARBADOS: England captain Alastair Cook made his first test century in almost two years but lost his wicket in the final over of the day as the tourists ended the first day of the third test against West Indies on 240 for seven.
Cook’s fine, considered innings of 105, guided England away from a shaky start after they lost their first three wickets for just 38 runs in Barbados.
The England captain scored his last century against New Zealand at Headingley in May, 2013, but his delight at ending that barren spell will be tempered by the disappointment at losing his wicket just before the close.
Cook attempted to cut off-spinner Marlon Samuels but edged the ball into the gloves of West Indies skipper and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
That final twist in the day’s events will have left the hosts happy and they will hope to get through England’s tail in good time on Saturday.
England won the toss and elected to bat on what was a good batting track but they suffered early setbacks.
Jonathan Trott’s troubles continued as he was caught for a duck by Veerasammy Permaul at square-leg having failed to deal with a short delivery from the fiery Shannon Gabriel.
Gary Ballance (18) was bowled by a beautiful delivery from Jason Holder that cut back off the seam and Holder struck again to remove Ian Bell, snapping up a caught and bowled to leave England struggling at 38 for three.
The in-form Joe Root helped turn things around with 33 from 35 balls before he was caught behind by Ramdin off Permaul’s slow left-arm.
Cook and Moeen Ali settled in, however, looking at ease, as they looked to build a major partnership against a West Indies attack that had lost its threat.
But just two short of a 100 partnership, Ali (58) was run-out after Cook called for a single that never looked on and debutant Shai Hope at backward point threw accurately to Ramdin for the run out.
Ben Stokes tried to pick up where Ali had left off but after he made 22 in 69 minutes he steered Gabriel to Hope at gully.
Ramdin will be pleased with the bowling of Gabriel, who was preferred to Kemar Roach as new ball partner with the returning Jerome Taylor.
England lead the three test series 1-0. (Reuters)