Strauss hails Cook and Bell as England secure 'sensible' first Test victory over Windies
15:19 GMT, 21 May 2012
Andrew Strauss paid tribute to Alastair Cook and Ian Bell's 'sensible batting' after the duo both registered half-centuries to help England record a five-wicket win over West Indies in the first Investec Test at Lord's.
The hosts were 10 for two in their pursuit of 191, having lost opener Strauss and nightwatchman James Anderson last night.
Jonathan Trott edged Kemar Roach to the slips in the sixth over of the day, while Kevin Pietersen was caught behind off Shannon Gabriel to leave England on 57 for four.
Sense and sensibility: Cook and Bell helped England to victory in the first Test
Cook and Bell ensured there would be no famous collapse today and although the former was dismissed with two runs still needed, Bell guided England to victory – much to the relief of captain Strauss.
'I think the wicket was pretty slow and flat and we had a pretty good chance of chasing it down,' he told Sky Sports.
'But you never know with cricket, that's one of the beauties of the game is the unexpected can sometimes happen and we put ourselves in a bit of a tricky position by losing a couple (of wickets) last night.
'/05/21/article-2147624-1335FAE0000005DC-175_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”No risks: England batted with confidence to take a1-0 lead in the three-match Series with the West Indies” class=”blkBorder” />
No risks: England batted with confidence to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match Series with the West Indies
Dogged left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck 87 not out and 91, while his partnership of 157 with Marlon Samuels in the Windies' second innings frustrated England's bowling attack yesterday.
'It's been a tough Test match, we've had to work very hard for this,” said Strauss.
'West Indies have played some really good cricket. The way Chanderpaul and Samuels batted yesterday made life very difficult for us and we had to dig pretty deep.
'The seamers had to go through a lot of overs to take those wickets but when you have to dig deep it makes it a bit satisfying when you get over the line.'
It was also a Test to remember for Strauss, who made his first century in 26 attempts – a run stretching back to November 2010.
'It was lovely to get that hundred and when you score a hundred in a winning cause, it makes it even more special but there were a lot of good performances in the side so overall we're pretty happy,” added the left-hander.
Worrying start: England lost two wickets, but recovered to win by five wickets
'There are always areas we can try and improve and we'll try and do that in the second Test.'
West Indies captain Darren Sammy paid tribute to England but acknowledged making just 243 in the first innings cost them dear.
'The pitch became much easier to bat on and an experienced batting line-up like England showed the class and wanted it more,' said Sammy.
'We had a few run-outs in both innings and we were aiming to get 350 on the first day wicket but we didn't.
'But the way we fought back in this Test match gives us confidence going into the next Test match.'