Strauss century sparks England win
Andrew Strauss bounced back from his first-innings duck to post England's third century of the match, then followed up with his first victory as full-time captain
424 for 8 and 271 for 5 (Strauss 103, Cook 50) beat St Kitts Invitational XI
251 (Panesar 4-53) and 221 (Rogers 79) by 217 runs
Andrew Strauss made his first century as full-time captain to set up a morale-boosting win © Getty Images|
Andrew Strauss bounced back from his first-innings duck to post England's third century of the match, then followed up with his first victory as full-time captain, as England crushed a St Kitts Invitational XI by 217 runs at Basseterre. After resuming on 118 for 0 overnight, England declared on 271 for 5, leaving St Kitts an improbable 445 for victory. They were eventually bowled out for 221 inside two sessions, with Monty Panesar adding three more wickets to take his match tally to seven.
Strauss, who had been dismissed by the second ball of the match on Sunday, retired immediately after reaching his landmark from 116 balls, just as his opening partner, Alastair Cook, had done after his half-century in the final session of the second day. The first bona fide wicket of England's innings was that of Matt Prior, who collided with his partner, Ian Bell, in mid-pitch and was run out for 3.
Bell, whose place is under severe scrutiny in this game, once again left room for debate about his future with a pretty 49 that, like his first-innings 36, contained several classy moments but ended in a weak fashion when he scuffed a drive to mid-on against the offspinner, Trevier Smithen. Stuart Broad, who confirmed today he will not be taking part in this year's IPL, hit five fours and a six in a 35-ball 36, leaving just enough time for Adil Rashid and James Anderson to face 12 deliveries each.
On a day when England's injury worries were alleviated, both by the positive news of Andrew Flintoff's side injury and the appearance of Owais Shah as a substitute fielder following his eye problem, England were able to leave the field feeling satisfied with their overall showing across the three days. Victory came with 20 minutes of the match to spare, as the spin pairing of Adil Rashid and Panesar whittled through the tail from a comfortable tea-time position of 100 for 3.
England shared the wickets around with all six of their bowlers claiming a scalp. Steve Harmison removed the teenaged opener, Kejel Tyson, for the second time in the match, before Broad chipped in with two wickets before tea, Steve Liburd and the captain, Shane Jeffers, for 41. Once again only Codville Rogers, who resisted in the first innings with 63, was able to come to terms with the variety of England's attack. He top-scored for the second time with 79.