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Cook, Bell steady ship for England

World Cricket

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.

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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.

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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