West Indies v England: Ian Bell hits century as tourists dominate

By James GheerbrantBBC Sport
Ian Bell bats
Ian Bell's century was his first in the first Test of an away series
First Test, day one, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
England 341-5 (90 overs): Bell 143, Root 83, Stokes 71*

Ian Bell hit his 22nd Test century to help England to 341-5 at stumps on day one of the first Test against West Indies in Antigua.

Bell made 143, while Joe Root hit 83 and Ben Stokes 71 not out as England rallied after being reduced to 34-3.

Jonathan Trott was out third ball in his first Test since leaving the 2013-14 Ashes tour.

Captain Alastair Cook (11) and Gary Ballance (10) also fell cheaply after England were put in at the toss.

Ballance hit by curse of 10
Gary Ballance was dismissed for 10 for the fourth time in his last five international innings, having made that score three times at the World Cup.

England were precariously positioned at 49-3 at lunch, but their fortunes were transformed after the interval by a superb counter-attacking partnership of 171 by Bell and Root.

Root was eventually dismissed after tea by fast bowler Jerome Taylor (2-79), the pick of the West Indies attack, but Bell continued to punish some wayward bowling, bringing up his century off 194 balls, before he fell to Kemar Roach in the penultimate over of the day.

"In 2009 I was dropped here in Antigua, so it was nice to come back here and put things right from my own perspective," Bell told BBC Test Match Special.

Stokes, who had recorded three ducks in his last three Test innings, injected added impetus into the innings with a rapid half-century.

Stokes returns to form
Ben Stokes's unbeaten 71 was his first half-century in his last eight Test innings. It is currently his second-highest Test score, behind his 120 against Australia at Perth in 2013.

His impressive return to the side was in stark contrast to the early misfortune of Trott, making his first appearance after 15 months out following stress-related problems.

The Warwickshire man, opening the batting for only the third time in his 50th Test match, edged Taylor to slip before scoring.

Roach extended Cook's two-year wait for a Test century with an inswinger that shattered his stumps, before Jason Holder removed the out-of-form Ballance.

"Obviously we have our team plans because Alastair Cook has a weakness - everyone knows that - we just have to execute it as much as possible," said Roach.

At that stage, West Indies skipper Denesh Ramdin's unexpected decision to bowl appeared vindicated and it seemed that the pressure might increase on England and their coach Peter Moores after a dismal World Cup in the 50-over format.

But after lunch West Indies' bowlers tired badly as England began to dominate in sunny conditions on a flat pitch.

Sulieman Benn (0-85) was particularly culpable as Bell and Root raced to 167-3 at tea.

Though that pair fell before the close, the impressive Stokes remains at the crease as England look well placed to target 500 when play resumes on day two at 15:00 BST.

"Ben Stokes came in and showed everyone what he can do - he can destroy bowlers," added Bell. "Hopefully we can have a bit more of that tomorrow."

Jonathan Trott departs
Jonathan Trott recorded his third duck in his last 12 Test innings
Alastair Cook is dismissed
Alastair Cook has not made a Test century since May 2013 - a run stretching back 32 innings
Kemar Roach celebrates a wicket
Kemar Roach is the leading West Indian in the ICC Test bowling rankings, in ninth place
Joe Root bats
Joe Root passed 50 for the seventh time in eight Test matches