England captain Alastair Cook made his first Test century in almost two years, but lost his wicket in the final over of the day on Thursday as the tourists ended the first day of the third Test against the West Indies on 240-7.
Cook’s fine, considered innings of 105, guided England away from a shaky start after they lost their first three wickets for just 38 runs in Barbados.
The England captain scored his previous century against New Zealand at Headingley in May, 2013, but his delight at ending that barren spell will be tempered by the disappointment at losing his wicket just before the close.
Cook attempted to cut off-spinner Marlon Samuels, but edged the ball into the gloves of West Indies skipper and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
That final twist in the day’s events will have left the hosts happy and they will hope to get through England’s tail in good time.
England won the toss and elected to bat on what was a good batting track, but they suffered some setbacks early in the day.
Jonathan Trott’s troubles continued as he was caught for a duck by Veerasammy Permaul at square-leg having failed to deal with a short delivery from the fiery Shannon Gabriel.
Gary Ballance (18) was bowled by a beautiful delivery from Jason Holder that cut back off the seam and Holder struck again to remove Ian Bell, snapping up a caught and bowled to leave England struggling at 38-3.
The in-form Joe Root helped turn things around with 33 before he was caught behind by Ramdin off Permaul’s left-arm spin.
Cook and Moeen Ali settled in, looking at ease as they looked to build a major partnership.
However, just two short of a 100 partnership, Ali (58) was run out after Cook called for a single that never looked on and debutant Shai Hope at backward point threw accurately to Ramdin for the dismissal.
Ben Stokes tried to pick up where Ali had left off, but after he made 22 in 69 minutes he steered Gabriel to Hope at gully.
Ramdin will be pleased with the bowling of Gabriel, who was preferred to Kemar Roach as new ball partner with the returning Jerome Taylor.
England lead the three-Test series 1-0.
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