Cook and Bopara plunder sorry West Indies
Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara struck confident centuries to lift England to a commanding 302 for two on the first day of the second and final Test against West Indies today.
The pair shared a second-wicket partnership of 213 to give England a perfect start in their bid to clinch the series, Cook reaching the close unbeaten on 126 after Bopara fell for 108.
A dispiriting day for West Indies was watched by a sparse crowd and the one-sided nature of the contest ensured there was little atmosphere as the home team won the toss and set about batting the opposition out of the match.
Cook and Andrew Strauss put together an untroubled first-wicket partnership of 69 before the captain, on 26, gloved a catch down the leg side to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin as he tried to sweep a ball from opposite number Chris Gayle.
It was a hollow victory for Gayle, who had criticised Strauss in the build-up to the game, and a rare moment of satisfaction for West Indies.
Cook mixed watchful defence with crisp attacking strokes on both sides of the wicket and he found the perfect foil in Bopara, who also made 143 in the first-test win at Lord's.
The Essex team mates patiently took the score to 184 for one at tea and reached their centuries in the final session.
Cook got there first, clouting Sulieman Benn through mid-wicket for his 11th four to post his ninth test hundred and Bopara lofted the left-arm spinner over long-on for six before passing three figures for the third test innings in a row.
Bopara again looked comfortable in the number three position, mixing his favourite wristy shots through the leg-side with clean strikes straight down the ground.
Gayle rotated his bowlers but there was little in the pitch for the seamers and Benn was employed for long spells with defensive fields to try to contain the scoring rate.
Bopara was bowled just before the close, seamer Lionel Baker making the ball nip back off the seam to beat the right-hander's tired defensive prod.
Nightwatchman James Anderson survived the last four overs with relative ease and England will look to push on to a huge total on the second day.
England - Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, James Anderson, Graham Onions.
West Indies - Chris Gayle (captain), Devon Smith, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash, Denesh Ramdin, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Fidel Edwards, Lionel Baker.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Serena Williams wins Australia Open 2015: American beats Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a sixth title in Melbourne
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election