Cook, Bell steady ship for England

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iol spt may21 Cook REUTERS England nervously inched their way to 131 for four chasing a victory target of 191 at lunch on the final day of the first Test against West Indies at Lord's.

London – England nervously inched their way to 131/4 chasing a victory target of 191 at lunch on the final day of the first Test against West Indies at Lord's on Monday.

After resuming on 10/2, the hosts lost Jonathan Trott for 13 and Kevin Pietersen for the same score before Alastair Cook and Ian Bell steadied the ship with an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 74.

Cook was unbeaten on 53 at the interval and Bell was on 34.

Trott became Kemar Roach's third victim of the innings when he nicked a rapid seaming delivery to Darren Sammy at slip and Pietersen edged a catch to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin trying to pull a short ball from Shannon Gabriel.

That left England stuttering on 57/4r and West Indies scenting an unlikely victory against the world's top-ranked team.

The touring side have won only one of their last 18 Tests in England and trailed the hosts by 155 runs on first innings but a battling 345 second time round kept them in the match.

Cook and Bell showed great composure in a tense atmosphere at a chilly Lord's, picking up easy singles and hitting bad balls to the boundary to keep England on course for victory.

Cook reached his fifty just before lunch with a late cut for four off spinner Marlon Samuels, the left-hander reaching the milestone off 78 balls having hit eight boundaries. – Reuters

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