England’s new season began on a bright note at a gloomy Lord’s. Powered by a century from young opener Alastair Cook, the homeside ended a truncated day at 200 for 3. Just the 56 overs were bowled on the opening day of the opening test match at Lord’s.
There was no Andrew Flintoff in the England side as the all rounder failed a fitness test for his ankle. It was Test Match Debut for Matt Prior, the Sussex wicket keeper, who had played 12 ODIs for England. West Indies led by Ramnaresh Sarwan for the first time had elected to field first with overcast conditions prevailing. Neither the conditions nor the slope of Lord’s were used with good effect by the West Indies pace attack. The result was England going into lunch at no loss at 85 with Captain Strauss and Cook laying a firm foundation.
After lunch, West Indies’ bowlers came up with much better plans and there was the breakthrough with Andrew Strauss slicing a drive to point off Daren Powell. Strauss missed out making a big score, falling for 33. One drop batsman Owais Shah got a smack on his helmet from a throw. He could only score six runs before nicking an outswinger from Daren Powell. England were 103 for 2 giving the tourists a new life.
The pair of Cook and Pietersen carried England through an interrupted post lunch session at 158 for 2. The last session saw just 13 overs bowled because of bad light in which England had lost Pietersen falling to covers off Collymore for 26. The rest of the play saw Cook bring up his fifth test match hundred. He remained unbeaten on 102 from 173 balls with 9 fours while Paul Collingwood gave him the company with 21 not out. West Indies used four pacers with Daren Powell being the best. Jerome Taylor was far from impressive as he leaked 35 runs having bowled only 6 overs.