England v WI, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day May 26, 2012

Heart-warming fortune for Sammy

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second day at Trent Bridge

Milestone of the day
Maybe the ball did not go quite where he intended - Darren Sammy was aiming through midwicket and the ball disappeared through point - but the boundary that took West Indies' captain to his maiden Test century in his 45th innings was a heart-warming moment. Not only was this tangible individual reward for Sammy's part in an encouraging seventh-wicket stand but it was also a highpoint in the personal career of an honest, selfless cricketer. Sammy was not dealt a handful of aces when he inherited the captaincy of this West Indies side: beset by political problems far beyond his control, he is a man with a limited team and limited personal talent but he makes the most of his ability and has instilled in his side a pride and unity that might, with some nurturing and some reinforcement, grow into something more substantial in time. No-one, be they supporters of England or West Indies, would begrudge him his moment in the sun.

Obliging shot of the day
Perhaps it is churlish to criticise a man who had just recorded his maiden Test century and helped post a record seventh-wicket stand of 204. But, having fought their way back into the match, West Indies had an opportunity to build a formidable position. They had an opportunity to take advantage of an easy-natured pitch and a jaded attack to reach a total well in excess of 400 and apply pressure on England. Instead Darren Sammy, perhaps losing concentration a few moments after completing his impressive century, pulled a short ball straight to the man set for the shot on the square leg boundary. Marlon Samuels' angry swish of the bat spoke volumes: Sammy had let England off the hook. Left with just the tail for company, Samuels fell just nine balls later attempting to force the pace and West Indies had squandered their chance to reach a match-defining total.

Let off of the day
Alastair Cook felt for one outside off stump and was very well taken by Denesh Ramdin, it seemed West Indies had the early breakthrough they required. England, it appeared, were 2 for 1, with Cook out for one. It was not to be. Instead Aleem Dar, somewhat unsighted by Kemar Roach's action but suspecting he might have over-stepped, called for a review which showed the delivery had been a no-ball. Cook was reprieved and a weakness in the West Indies game had been highlighted. This was an accident waiting to happen: Roach delivered 18 no-balls in 38 overs during the first Test at Lord's and six in 21 overs in the game against the Lions. To compound his error here, Roach repeated it a few overs later. This time Cook was on 12.

Shot of the day
Accepted wisdom would suggest that a batsman should take a little time to take a look at a bowler before launching an attack. But Kevin Pietersen has never accepted the conventional path. Instead he skipped down the wicket to the first delivery he faced from the offspin of Shane Shillingford and deposited the ball over long-on for six. With Andrew Strauss also cutting two fours, the over cost 17 and, a short while later, Shillingford was withdrawn from the attack after an opening spell that had cost more than five an over. Strauss later denied that it was a pre-emptive attack, but the result of England's assault was that West Indies' plans to use Shillingford to maintain control were in tatters. It is worth remembering, surely, the criticism Pietersen would have attracted had he mis-hit and been caught: that is the nature of the beast. Pietersen is a match-changing player. When it comes off he looks magical; when it does not, he can look foolish. In a team containing solid players such as Cook, Trott and Strauss, however, there is surely for a risk-taking batsman like Pietersen.

Quote of the day
Asked to reflect on his place in history - now only three men (Colin Cowdrey, Wally Hammond and Geoffrey Boycott) have scored more Test centuries for England than Strauss' 21, England's captain took a typically modest view. "You only have to look at how many centuries Sachin Tendulkar has scored to realise 21 is not that many," Strauss said. Tendulkar has scored 51 Test centuries to date.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rukshan on May 27, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    this is a great article bcz there is sachin(though in the last two lines) .:P

  • Brendan on May 27, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Sammy is an inspirational choice, as the Windies, Captain, he has been thrown in at the deep-end, and deserves credit for the way he is marshalling his troops. He played good tough Cricket against the Aussies, and has followed that up in England, this Century could define him. He can Bat, he can Bowl, and he is learning on the job as Captain. I admire him greatly, because he rings every bit of talent out of his body, and is a Team only player.

  • Priyashrav on May 27, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip Well Rahul Dravid himself averages 68.80 in England which is better than any other English batsman for a minimum qualification of 1000 runs scored in England! But that doesn't prove anything,does it? Strauss is a class act without you having to prove it through these stats! BTW,loved his humble comment regarding the number of tons he has scored!

  • John on May 27, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    I just watched the highlights of day 2, which included Pietersen's scoop, and, as I thought at the time, it didn't look like that was the shot he intended to play initially but he adjusted when the line was not what he expected. The camera caught Marlon Samuels expression afterwards and it was priceless. Even a bowler of his limited Test credentials does have a right to feel aggrieved at being played so under the circumstances.

  • John on May 27, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip on (May 26 2012, 22:32 PM GMT), very interesting statistics. I think that most people would rate several of the batsmen in the England team above Strauss but those stats indicate that he may be the most successful member of the current batting lineup in India. If Strauss has regained, and can maintain, his form this summer then that bodes well for the winter tour of India.

  • Mikey on May 27, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Hey guys I've got the perfect West Indies team:

    Chris GAYLE Darren SAMMY Darren BRAVO Ramnaresh SARWAN Shivnarine CHANDERPAUL Marlon SAMUELS Dwayne BRAVO Denesh RAMDIN Jerome TAYLOR Kemar ROACH Sunil NARINE

    It features a batting order with depth, extending to Taylor who has a test century, and there are five bowlers. This would be a glorious team, but politics and poor man- management will never let this happen. It is such a shame because the West Indies could be a force to be reckoned with, and worldwide respect would come flooding in again. I can only hope the West Indies management can see sense and realise they can become competitive. They have the tools and equipment, they just need a clue in knowing how to use them.

  • Oliver on May 26, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    I was heartened to read Strauss's magnanimous comment about Tendulkar - absolutely typical of the man. Congratulations to him and Sammy both. As for the future, of course Cook, KP and Bell will have the English record in their sights, although I think the current team ethos doesn't really focus on these things. There were times past where more than one English batsman getting a hundred in a series was something to get excited about!

  • Sharon on May 26, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    Strauss 10 at home 11 away 100's. Before the chat start from fan of a certain country about Strauss "only score 100 in England, incapable anywhere else", or "Lucky Strauss", etc, I did research here on wonderful Cricinfo. Andrew Strauss score 3 Test century in India where his average is 54.33. VVS Laxman have average in India of 51.6, Dravid have average of 51.3. So Andrew Strauss should be called by India fans "A Very Very Special Wall". Also I checked and England have never played any Test match against Zimbabwe in India. If you filter out India Test matchs against Zimbabwe (where India player boost their average), Andrew Strauss average in India of 54.33, is better than ANY current India player. Andrew Strauss IS A BETTER PLAYER IN INDIA THAN ANY CURRENT INDIA PLAYER. This may come as shock to India fan - but Strauss hit century once in every 3 visit to the crease in India. I am sure that he will boost this already impressive record even higher later this year. Please publish.

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Indeed Sammy let England off the hook with that noting shot after such a great century. It is clear that the Windies don't seem to be psycologically ready to be a top tier team yet otherwise the batting attitude this morning should have been to consolidate and keep England in the field as long as possible. Hope we don't live to regret this weakness.

  • John on May 26, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    A decent day as an English fan. Was pleased that Sammy got his ton but the last 4 didn't do do too much damage this morning.Obviously KRs no balls are a worry for WI. I have to hope that KP can stay there for a while because he can push the game forward . Well played Strauss and KP. I think both teams have had rheir fair share of fortune (streaky edges etc) with the bat

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