Another Root century gives England strong start in West Indies

By Sports Desk March 16, 2022

England captain Joe Root hit a masterful century on day one of the second Test against the West Indies at Bridgetown.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Root was at the crease early on after Zak Crawley was dismissed for a duck, but was not flustered as he set about giving his team a solid foundation on a flat pitch.

The visitors ended the day on 244-3 with Dan Lawrence contributing an excellent 91, as West Indies struggled to get anything out of the pitch, though things could have been different but for a dropped catch.

England handed debuts to bowlers Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher in place of Mark Wood and Craig Overton, and got off to a shocking start as Crawley was out without scoring after he failed to leave a Jayden Seales delivery, nicking it through to Joshua Da Silva.

Root and Alex Lees steadied the innings as they slowly put together a partnership of 76, though Root was somewhat fortunate to see Da Silva drop him on 34, even if it was a difficult opportunity for the West Indies wicketkeeper down the leg side.

The Yorkshireman reached his 50, only to see Lees fall next ball for 30 to lbw off the bowling of Veerasammy Permaul.

Lawrence was next in and though he started slowly, soon settled in as he began hitting boundaries, including a six off Permaul.

The 24-year-old reached the fourth 50 of his career just before Root sealed his ton, which is the 25th time he has raised his bat to three figures in Test cricket.

After tea, it was all too comfortable for England as Root (119 not out) and Lawrence (91) continued to build on a partnership of 164, before Lawrence hit a Jason Holder delivery straight to Kraigg Brathwaite off the last ball of the day to give the hosts a rare occasion to celebrate.

Root in the form of his life

It must be said that it was a very batsman-friendly pitch on day one at Bridgetown, but Root took full advantage as he put together a very useful knock to surely ensure a big first-innings total for his team.

After scoring 1,708 Test runs in 15 matches in 2021, he has already managed 310 in three and a half in 2022.

This was the fourth Test 100 Root has scored in the West Indies, more than he has managed in any other country apart from England.

Lawrence offers ideal support role

One continuing theme of the recent Ashes series was England players coming in to bat, seemingly trying to settle slowly into their innings, and then getting themselves out before they started scoring any runs.

Lawrence looked to be doing the same here, but once he got his first boundary, looked calm and composed at the crease as he set about assisting Root in building a big total, and managed to reach the highest score of his Test career so far before a disappointing dismissal.

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