West Indies v England: Alastair Cook hits century in Barbados

By Jamie LillywhiteBBC Sport
Alastair Cook celebrates
It was Cook's fifth century against West Indies
Third Test, Barbados, day one
England: 240-7 (89.2 overs) Cook 105, Moeen 58, Holder 2-34

England captain Alastair Cook scored his first Test century since May 2013 but his team struggled on day one of the final Test against West Indies.

The 30-year-old, who survived an appeal for a catch on 22, ended a run of 35 innings without a Test century and reached his 26th hundred off 259 balls.

He was caught behind in the final over to signal stumps, leaving England on 240-7 after they chose to bat.

Earlier, opening partner Jonathan Trott fell for his third duck of the series.

Former England opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott on BBC Test Match Special
"Cook has played splendidly. I watched his feet, he was going back and forward and above all he played straight. He fully deserved his hundred. In Tests, he's not been in that bad form, we've got confused because he was struggling in one-day cricket. With concentration, patience and footwork like that he will always make runs in Test cricket."

Cook - deposed as one-day captain last December - had made two half-centuries in England's nine-wicket win in Grenada last week but had not made a Test hundred since facing New Zealand at Headingley two years ago.

As wickets fell regularly around him on a flat surface, he showed admirable patience, equalling his slowest Test century in terms of balls faced to end his long wait.

The century was warmly appreciated by a large gathering of England supporters, thought to number around 10,000, at Barbados' Kensington Oval.

Cook century rescued England - Moeen

"You saw what it meant to the players and the crowd," Moeen told BBC Sport. "Everybody wants the captain to do well, especially with some big series coming up.

"He got us out of a bit of a hole - I think he'll be more satisfied with that than the actual hundred.

"I think it was coming, he's been batting well all trip so it was well deserved, but we've got a lot of work to do in this game."

However, problems continued for Trott in his new role at the top of the innings.

Since returning to the side for this series after stress-related problems that forced him to return early from the Ashes tour of Australia in November 2013, Trott has made one fifty, but only four runs in the four other innings.

His movement across the crease left him in an awkward, crouching position facing fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and he flicked a rapid short delivery tamely to square-leg.

Cook's England century landmarks
Alastair Cook made his first England century on his Test debut in March 2006 when he made 104 against India in Nagpur
His most prolific year for England Test centuries was in 2010 when he made five hundreds, including 235 against Australia
He became England's top century maker in 2012 when he overtook Wally Hammond, Geoffrey Boycott and Colin Cowdrey's total of 22
His highest Test score remains the 294 he made against India at Edgbaston in 2011

"He's been playing really well in the nets," added Moeen. "I honestly think that he's going to get a score for us, hopefully in the second innings."

Jason Holder soon struck in consecutive overs, first beating Gary Ballance (18) for pace and uprooting his middle stump and then deceiving Ian Bell to offer a simple return catch for a duck.

It might have been 51-4 before lunch when Cook turned Veerasammy Permaul to short-leg in the slow left-armer's opening over, but although replays indicated otherwise, television umpire Steve Davis decided the catch had not been taken cleanly.

Monkey is off Cook's back - Boycott

Joe Root (33) appeared on course to equal the world record of seven successive scores in excess of 50 but having added a calm half-century partnership with his captain, he feathered a catch behind off the spinner.

There was appreciable turn in the pitch but Permaul, in his first Test since 2013, was guilty of numerous full tosses, one of several West Indian bowlers to offer too many loose deliveries, and he conceded 12 boundaries.

The Windies were offered an unlikely reprieve when Cook cut straight to backward point but called Moeen Ali for an injudicious single and the Worcestershire batsman's stylish 58 ended in a run-out without the need for a replay.

Ben Stokes departed for 22 but Cook reached three figures in the 88th over with a four clipped through midwicket.

However, the captain's late dismissal ensured the West Indies, who trail 1-0 in the series, ended the day on top.

Listen to the Test Match Special podcast review of the first day's play