LONDON: England captain Andrew Strauss ended his 18-month wait for a Test century as he led his side into a first innings lead on the second day against the West Indies at Lord’s on Friday.
When bad light ended play, England were 259 for three — a lead of 16 runs after they needed just Friday’s first ball to dismiss the West Indies for their overnight score of 243.
Strauss was 121 not out and Ian Bell five not out at stumps.
But with the West Indies just two deliveries into the new ball, England’s position is far from assured in this first of a three-Test series.
This was the 35-year-old Strauss’s 20th century in his 95 Tests but the left-handed opener’s first since he made 110 against Australia at Brisbane in November 2010.
He came into this match with questions regarding his recent lack of runs but the circumstances were near ideal for Strauss to end his century drought, despite overcast conditions that saw the floodlights switched on after lunch.
The West Indies attack was willing but rarely threatening and Strauss enjoys batting at Lord’s, his Middlesex home ground, where he has now made five Test centuries including one on debut, against New Zealand in 2004.
Strauss is now in sight of the England Test record of 22 hundreds held jointly by Walter Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott.
His only worrying moment Friday came when he was dropped on 95 in the slips by Shivnarine Chanderpaul off what was, in any event, a Fidel Edwards no-ball.
Bowler Chris Broad’s figures of seven for 72 were his best in Tests