Bell leads England's fightback against WI in first Test

Hits 143 and shares 177-run partnership with Root after tourists were rocked on the opening morning.

    This was Bell's 22nd Test century [Reuters]
    This was Bell's 22nd Test century [Reuters]

    A fine innings of 143 from Ian Bell helped England to recover from a terrible start and finish the first day of the first Test against West Indies on 341 for five in Antigua.

    After being put into bat, England made a shaky start at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and stumbled to 34 for three before lunch.

    But Bell and Joe Root (83) took control in the afternoon session with their 177-run partnership killing West Indies' early momentum and then moving England into a strong position.

    Although Bell was removed late in the day after the hosts took the second new ball, England will still be satisfied by their day's work.

    West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin was rewarded for his decision to make the visitors bat as his seamers got the early breakthroughs he was hoping for.

    Jonathan Trott, returning to test cricket for the first time since quitting the 2013-14 Ashes Tour with stress-related problems, went in the first over.

    England skipper Alastair Cook made 11 before he was bowled by Kemar Roach, getting an inside edge on a delivery that cut back.

    The West Indies opening pair bowled a consistent full length and tight line, making it tough for England's batsmen, but it was a wider ball from Jason Holder that removed number three Gary Ballance.

    Bell brought up his century with an edge past slip off Marlon Samuels but West Indies finally brought the partnership to an end when Root played on from Taylor.

    Ben Stokes, unbeaten on 71 at the close, quickly restored England's dominance however, taking an aggressive approach.

    Scorecard (Day 1):

    England 341-5 in 90 overs (Bell 143, Roach 2-66)

    SOURCE: Reuters


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