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Another excellent day for batting at Trent Bridge saw in excess of 300 runs scored with just 6 wickets falling once again as England nudged ahead in the second test of this series courtesy an unbeaten century from skipper Andrew Strauss. After Tim Bresnan broke a resurrecting 206 run stand between Darren Sammy (106) and Marlon Samuels (117), 11 overs into the second day the England bowlers wrapped up the rest of the tail quickly, taking the last 3 wickets for 30 runs to pull England back into the contest. Englandâ€™s captain Strauss rose to the occasion as he stroked his second century in as many games in this series leading the Poms' strong reply in good batting conditions. With good support from Kevin Pietersen (71*) and Jonathan Trott (35) Strauss took England to a promising 259/2 at stumps on day 2, trailing the visitorsâ€™ first innings score by just 121 runs going into day 3 in Nottingham.
West Indies resumed their first innings at 304/6 on yet another beautiful day in Nottingham. The West Indian captain Darren Sammy was unbeaten on 88 overnight, chasing his maiden test century. The allrounder battled his way into the 90s early in the session as the West Indies batsmen looked to keep the still new-ish ball out. However, Sammy rocketed his way to 100 with two edges off Stuart Broad making their way to thirdman boundary.
It was an exceptional battling effort from the skipper, known more for his cameo 30s than an innings of character. Sammy had more than his share of luck, but his time at the crease and application meant that he richly deserved the standing ovation afforded to him by the West Indies' dressing room. However, Sammy threw his wicket away soon after getting past the milestone hooking at a short ball from Tim Bresnan that was way outside the off-stump, and finding the only man in the deep on the legside boundary.
Marlon Samuels followed his skipper back to the pavilion almost immediately after with Bresnan getting his second wicket of the day. Samuels was also guilty of playing a loose shot, chancing his arm obviously showing a lack of faith in the tail. With just the bowlers left, England could smell the end of the innings.
Graeme Swann gave the Windies tail a breather by dropping Kemar Roach off Broad, but Bresnan continued to be in his element today, inducing the outside edge of the batsman, who was pouched by Andrew Strauss for 7.
The Windies tail continued to wag, showing Samuels really needn't have thrown his wicket away as such, with Shane Shillingford finally the last man to be dismissed for 16, stumped off Graeme Swann. The West Indies finished with a more than respectable 370, which given the fact they were 136/6 at one point, was an exemplary performance. Bresnan ended with 4 wickets, while Anderson, Broad and Swann picked up 2 each.
England were left with a tricky 20 minute window to survive pre-lunch. And they had some good fortune with Alastair Cook brilliantly caught behind off the bowling of Roach, but fortunately for the English opener, the bowler had overstepped.
Cook continued to lead a charmed life after lunch as Roach failed to learn from his previous error and over stepped yet again when having the left hander caught behind on 12. That helped the scratchy English opening pair to put on a decent 38 for the first wicket before Cook finally fell caught behind again, this time to the unerring Ravi Rampaul for 24.
Englandâ€™s No.3 Jonathan Trott came in at the stroke of drinks and played fluently right from the start. The compact right hander played some flowing drives and some typical flicks through the on side to get off to a rapid start. The struggling Andrew Strauss too fed off his partnerâ€™s confidence and began to regain his poise towards the end of the 2nd session. Trott smacked 3 boundaries off one over from Darren Sammy to propel his score to 30 off just 41 balls to give some much needed momentum and confidence. Strauss well and truly hit his straps before lunch, feeding off some inconsistent bowling from the Windies and combined with Trott to add 81 runs unbeaten for the 3rd wicket, England going into Tea at a promising 119/1.
Englandâ€™s charge was halted only momentarily by the impressive Ravi Rampaul, who trapped Trott leg before in the second over after Tea to bring the visitors back into the contest.
The tempting batting conditions were too good for Englandâ€™s No.4 Kevin Pietersen to squander as he came in and took charge straight away. The imposing right hander struck the ball sweetly right away and signaled his intentions with a domineering six off spinner Shllingford, straight back over his head to get the momentum rolling.
Strauss too regained complete authority and composure after Tea and played some silken shots through the covers. It was boundaries galore for the rest of the session as the pair put the West Indies attack to the sword on a flat deck with a regular pounding of the boundary ropes. Pietersen flicked and drove majestically to the fence while Strauss scored at the rate of knots with some typically elegant drives and cuts behind square off both front and back foot. By drinks in the final session England added 55 runs in with Strauss racing away to 76 and Pietersen too looking promising on 23.
The onslaught continued after the interval as no bowler was spared in the quest for quick runs. Pietersen put Shillingford on the back foot with some positive use of his feet and powerful sweeps through the leg side. Strauss continued to be severe on anything short and outside off stump as he cut without inhibition before precisely driving the full length balls into the gaps on the off side. This was a chanceless partnership as no bowler caused any alarms to both batsmen and failed to keep the scoring in check.
Much like the West Indies on day 1 this pair too finished the day strongly and made an astounding 140 runs in the session to put England firmly in the ascendancy. Englandâ€™s skipper Andrew Strauss meanwhile made another classy hundred off 192 balls and finished the day unbeaten on 102 while his partner Pietersen too looked good for 3 figures finishing with an aggressive 71 not out off just 97 balls. At the end of a batsmenâ€™s day, England were comfortable at 259/2 just 121 behind the West Indies score going into the 3rd day on placid deck at Trent Bridge.
England: A Strauss (c), A Cook, J Trott, K Pietersen, I Bell, J Bairstow, M Prior (wk), T Bresnan, S Broad, G Swann, J Anderson.
West Indies: A Barath, K Powell, K Edwards, D Bravo, S Chanderpaul, M Samuels, D Sammy (c), D Ramdin (wk), R Rampaul, K Roach, S Shillingford.
West Indies 1st Innings 370 all out (109.2 overs, 3.38rpo)
M Samuels 117 (261) T Bresnan 4-104
D Sammy 106 (156) G Swann 2-62
England 1st innings 259/2 (68 overs, 3.80 rpo)
A Strauss 102*(205) R Rampaul 2/42
K Pietersen 71*(97)
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