Rain rescues West Indies from trial under lights after Alastair Cook's fourth double hundred

Hendo

First Test (day 2, close of play report) England 514-8 dec; West Indies 44-1 (Powell 18*, K.Hope 25*)

West Indies were spared too forensic an examination under lights when rain came half an hour into the final session at Edgbaston and washed out play for the day. They had already lost opener Kraigg Brathwaite in a testing period before the suppertime interval after Alastair Cook's fourth Test double century had enabled England to declare perhaps earlier than expected on an imposing 514 for eight.

Cook's innings, which took him level with Len Hutton among England double-centurions – and behind only Wally Hammond, whose total of seven the Essex man may yet have his eye on – was a masterpiece of controlled strokeplay and concentration, although, in truth, he can probably never have been less challenged in getting to such a landmark such was the impotence of the West Indies attack.

That impotence was reflected in bowling analyses that left Roston Chase, a part-time off spinner, the most successful of the West Indies attack. A flurry of wickets against a positive – some might argue complacent – England middle order early in the second session ultimately brought him figures of four for 113 from 26.2 overs.

Cook's double-century was his second at Edgbaston, behind his 294 against India in 2011, and for a time in the second session he was surely targeting his highest score in Test cricket and dreaming of a first triple-hundred. His other scores of 200 or more came against Australia at the Gabba in 2010 and the 14-hour epic against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2015. This, though, completed in 339 balls, was the fastest of the four.

He and Dawid Malan, at last making a case for inclusion in the touring party for the Ashes in the winter, moved in untroubled fashion to the brink of the first intermission and looked set to complete the second wicketless session of the Test. But, having shared in a stand of 162 in a little under 43 overs Malan, who had unfurled a few of the fluid strokes so familiar to county viewers to reach a maiden Test fifty, edged Chase to slip from what became the last ball before the break. The ball was well-pitched and spun just enough but Malan, who had made 65, will feel he should have cashed in further.

Cook had reached 213 when the teams trooped off for refreshments, but on resumption, lost a series of England's more attacking batsmen in relatively quick succession, particularly when considered against what had gone before.

An over-confident Ben Stokes tried to reverse sweep Chase and top-edged a catch to Jermaine Blackwood at slip, Bairstow chopped on to give Jason Holder a first wicket, and Mooen Ali, advancing down the wicket to his fourth ball, skied Chase to square cover before he had scored.

If they had perished trying to force the issue, Cook was beginning to show some signs of fatigue. He mispulled Holder high towards mid-wicket. With no one stationed there it was left to the West Indies captain to run after it to try to pull off an unusual caught and bowled; the ball, though, fell agonisingly out of his reach. Then he cut Chase at catchable height just wide of slip

Finally, having advanced to 243 – he hit rather drowsily across a straight ball from the spinner, was struck low on the pad, and despite being given not out by Marius Erasmus, the review was a formality.

Most observers had expected England to push on towards 600 and that triple-hundred for Cook, but at his removal, Joe Root opted to beckon his charges in. It would be nice to think that it was a spontaneous action by the England captain but the hovering presence of Paul Farbrace, the assistant coach, at his shoulder suggested that it was one option of at least a couple that had been under consideration.

Chase apart, the West Indies bowling had been feeble and uninspired. Kemar Roach, the most experienced member of the attack, had spent most of the first session bowling round the wicket to England's pair of left-handers, searching for the kind of magic Morne Morkel had found doing the same, particularly against Cook, during the South Africa series.

There was swing, but his line was so poor that attempts to angle the ball into the batsmen were rendered completely ineffective. For much of the time, especially in a watchful first few overs, they allowed the ball go harmlessly by.

It was left for Jimmy Anderson to show Roach, the disappointing Alzarri Joseph and Miguel Cummins and the insipid Holder how to use a swinging ball. He was only into his second over when he took one away from Brathwaite, the right-handed opener, and Bairstow pouched the edge.

It could have been worse for the West Indies as he nipped one back to rap Kyle Hope, making his Test debut, on the pad, but the brains trust decided it was too high and didn't involve the third umpire.

It was a baptism of fire for Hope, a Barbadian now plying his trade for Trindidad & Tobago in the first-class tournament in the Caribbean, but he dealt with it well, especially when battle was rejoined after the supper interval, showing an impressive willingness to wait for the ball to do its stuff before playing. One glorious back foot drive gave a glimpse of better things to come in the coming days.

Even Kieran Powell, the only survivor of the last Test his nation played on these shores in 2012, began to find his feet after Stokes had put him down in the gully off Stuart Broad.

But they were relieved of the task of trying to repel England's pace bowlers for too much longer as thunderous clouds finally released their contents and ensured a slightly earlier start for all tomorrow.

First Test (day 2, second session) England 514-8 dec v West Indies 13-1 (Powell 5*, K Hope 7*)

Joe Root declared half an hour before the suppertime interval after Alastair Cook fell short of his 250, the last of a glut of England wickets to go in the second session on the second day of the inaugural day/night Test at Edgbaston.

Jimmy Anderson then slipped immediately into wicket-taking mode, swinging one away from Kraigg Brathwaite in his second over, and finding the opener's edge, for a chance which Jonny Bairstow gobbled up gratefully.

England 514-8 dec; West Indies 0-1. Very little could demonstrate better the difference between these sides than those stark statistics.

Kyle Hope, making his Test debut – and what a baptism of fire this was – was then struck on the pad, bringing a huge appeal, a not out decision and, after consideration, no review. Perhaps a little high. He celebrated by clipping England's leading wicket-taker through mid-wicket for four.

Kieran Powell, the sole survivor from the West Indies' last Test on these shores in 2012 almost gifted a wicket to Stuart Broad, whose full, swinging delivery was driven at shoulder height to Ben Stokes at gully, but the England all-rounder surprisingly spilled it.

Earlier, England had threatened to go through a session wicketless – for the second time in this Test – but Dawid Malan, who had for the first time made a case for inclusion in the Ashes squad for the winter, edged Roston Chase to slip the last ball before the interval.

Resuming overnight on 28, the Middlesex middle-order batsman moved comfortably to a maiden Test fifty, from 112 balls, showing the selectors some examples of the fluent strokeplay he familiarly produces at county level and had pushed on to 65 when he fell, snapped up by Jermaine Blackwood. With Cook, he had added 162 in a little under 43 overs.

Cook went to the break undefeated on 213. Rarely has a double hundred been more predictable, his only scare coming when he struck the boundary that took him to his milestone. He.drove aerially at a wide one from Kemar Roach but if there was a moment of anxiety as it flew at catchable height to the right of backward point, any apprehension for the former England captain immediately turned to relief and then delight as an appallingly village piece of fielding at third man allowed the ball to slip over the rope.

Cook had faced 339 balls, 30 of which he had hit to the boundary and was no doubt immediately targeting the 294 he scored against India in Birmingham in 2011 – still his highest Test score.

England went for the longer of the day's two intervals on 449 for four and as Cook pressed on in the evening – presumably in search of a first Test – a series of attacking partners came and went.

An over-confident Ben Stokes tried to reverse sweep Roston Chase and top-edged a catch to Blackwood at slip, Bairstow chopped on to give Jason Holder a first wicket, and Mooen Ali, advancing down the wicket to his fourth ball, skied Chase to square cover before he had scored.

If they had perished trying to force the issue, Cook was beginning to show some signs of fatigue. He mispulled Holder high towards mid-wicket. With no one stationed there it was left to the West Indies captain to run after it to try to pull off an unusual caught and bowled; the ball fell agonisingly out of his reach. Then he cut Chase at catchable height just wide of slip

Finally, having advanced to 243 – his fourth double hundred in Test cricket – he hit rather drowsily across Chase, was struck low on the pad, and despite being given not out by Marius Erasmus, the review was a formality.

Remarkably, this most prestigious of Test victims had given Chase, a part-time off break bowler, final figures of four for 113 from 26.2 overs.

The West Indies had really needed his contribution; the pace attack had looked almost toothless throughout with Holder and Alzarri Joseph both conceeding more than 100 runs apiece. Kemar Roach had spent much of the first session swinging the ball away from England's left-handers, unfortunately generally from a good couple of feet outside the off stump.

On another occasion he might have tried to claim he was trying to "bowl dry" as the parlance goes, but don't be fooled. This was simply poor control.

Anderson would soon show him how it was done

First Test, day 2 (first session): England 449-4 (Cook 213*) v West Indies

A demoralised West Indies team proved the perfect opponents for Dawid Malan as he looks to secure a place on the Ashes tour with England this winter.

The Middlesex middle-order batsman moved to a maiden Test fifty on the second afternoon of the day/night match at Edgbaston, showing the selectors some evidence of the fluent strokeplay he so often produces in county cricket.

While Malan went to his half-century Alastair Cook moved inexorably and predictably towards a fourth Test double to add to those against Australia, India and Pakistan.

England made a cautious start to the morning as West Indies, so disappointing with the second new ball last night – when they were finally reminded to take it by coach Stuart Law – as Jason Holder and Kemar Roach bowled a series of maidens.

But Malan, aware that he needed a score after a number of failures against South Africa, began to open up, his increasing positivity emphasised by a gloriously fluid extra cover drive, while there were pleasant clips through square leg as Holder in particular erred down the leg-side

Malan went to his milestone from 112 balls as he pulled Miguel Cummins for two and once there, celebrated with a square drive from a wide full toss from the same bowler that sped to the point boundary..

And he was followed relatively quickly by Cook who went to the second double century he has scored at Edgbaston in unusual and rather comincal fashion. He drove aerially at a wide swinging deliveryfrom Roach and if there was a moment of anxiety as it flew at catchable height to the right of backward point any apprehension for the England captain immediately turned to relief and then delight as an appallingly village piece of fielding at third man allowed the ball to slip over the boundary.

Cook had faced 339 balls, 30 of which he had hit to the boundary and was no doubt immediately targeting the 294 he scored against India in Birmingham in 2011 – still his highest Test score.

Roach had again managed to find swing but no semblance of a consistent line – unless that consistent line is considered to be two feet wide of the left-hander's off stump.

Operating from round the wicket to the pair, trying to angle the ball in and then take it away – as Morne Morkel did so effectively to Cook in particular during the South Africa series – the theory was fine but the practice poor. The England duo were content to watch the ball pass by harmlessly for fear of nicking off unnecessarily but having got the pace of the pitch were more liable to chop and cut backward of square.

Holder rang the changes, giving all his pace bowlers a try-out but in the last half-hour before lunch he turned once more to the part-time off spin of Roston Chase. Malan was soon to advance down the track to him and lift him over mid-off.

Just when it looked as if England would go through a second session without losing a wicket, Malan prodded forward to one that, much to everyone's surprise, spun slightly away from him and the batsman obliged by edging a simple catch to slip.

He had made 65 from 139 balls with ten fours.

Any joy West Indies felt about taking a little of the shine off England's afternoon would probably have been tempered by the knowledge that Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstown and Moeen Ali were the next men due at the crease.