England 348-3 against West Indies at 1st day close

Ashes chance for England hopefuls

Ashes chance for England hopefuls

England captain Joe Root heaped praise on his side for thriving in the unknown surroundings of the maiden day-night Test on these shores as they dominated West Indies at Edgbaston.

In the period between 1970 and 1989, West Indies' top six averaged more than 46 runs per wicket, and averaged one century per Test; since 2000, that average has dropped to 30.60, and eight hundreds have been scored in 18 Tests.

The numbers from the wins and losses columns have neatly swapped in the first and third rows, as have the batting and bowling averages; where West Indies once averaged 40 with the bat and 25 with the ball, they now leak 40 per wicket and score around 25 per dismissal.

This fixture, the 50th Test staged at Edgbaston, is the first of three-match series.

In unfamiliar circumstances even for them, and facing the pink ball used in day-night tests, Cook and Root dragged England up from 39-2 in the eighth over. Indeed, the game was drifting at this point, with everyone other than perhaps Cook, whose top-edge offered a chance to West Indies captain Jason Holder on 230, eagerly anticipating the declaration that would allow Root to unleash his bowling attack.

"The seam is good - it's not quite as slippery - the lacquer seems different to the red one". The Essex star soon completed his first century since November a year ago and the 31st overall as things looked ominous for West Indies.

Players featured for their county teams during a round of day-night Championship matches in June, when Westley's title-chasing Essex beat Middlesex at Chelmsford, but there are concerns among some about using the pink ball.

Roots 11th fifty in successive Tests was a new England record and just one shy of South Africa star AB de Villierss mark of 12. There's a sense that England are treating the match at Edgbaston as a learning experience as much as a Test.

The England bowlers would have given the West Indies some encouragement with their flaccid display in the abbreviated final session, with Stuart Broad particularly wayward.

Left-hander Stonemans first two scoring shots in Test cricket were fours off Kemar Roach.

Cook, whose stand with Malan was worth 162, was still there at lunch on 213.

The first Stoneman then received from Roach was the widest of wides, intercepted only by second slip. They waited all day for the last 10 overs, when the second new ball was going to do all sorts under lights, and then spent those precious overs killing time.

Root, however, was bowled between bat and pad by the persevering Roach.

The pair continued serenely after the break and it was the Yorkshireman who reached three figures first, sending a Roston Chase ball down to the fine leg boundary for four.

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