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Strong start by England

Bridgetown: England made a strong start on the first day of the fourth Test against the West Indies, making 108 without loss by lunch with captain Andrew Strauss on 71.

At 12am, England were 219 for no loss. Captain Andrew Strauss was batting on 134 and Cook was on 84.

Strauss, whose team trail 0-1 in the five-Test series, won the toss and chose to bat on a perfect wicket and along with fellow opener Alastair Cook (37) made swift progress in the sunshine.

There was little to encourage West Indies’ pace bowlers and Darren Powell in particular struggled in his loose spell of five overs for 33 runs.

Strauss brought up his fifty from 71 balls but then suffered two scares — first edging spinner Sulieman Benn between the wicketkeeper and Devon Smith at slip and then being dropped by West Indies skipper Chris Gayle.

The England captain flashed at a Fidel Edwards delivery outside off stump and Gayle should have snapped up what was a straightforward catch.

England opted for left-armer Ryan Sidebottom over Steve Harmison in their bowling attack and brought in Ravi Bopara for the injured Andrew Flintoff.

The West Indies named an unchanged team from that which drew in Antigua last week.

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