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Cook, Root lead England recovery

Cricket - England vs West Indies - First Test - Birmingham, Britain - August 17, 2017 England's Joe Root Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Cricket - England vs West Indies - First Test - Birmingham, Britain - August 17, 2017 England's Joe Root Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - England recovered from a typically stuttering start with the bat in their first day-night test to move on to 108 for two at lunch on the opening day of the series against West Indies on Thursday.

The hosts lost Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley for eight each to slump to 39 for two, before Alastair Cook (50 not out) and captain Joe Root (40 not out) launched a strong fightback at Edgbaston.

Root won the toss and would have been hoping for a steady opening partnership but Stoneman, making his debut as Cook's latest partner, was bowled off-stump by a fine delivery from Kemar Roach.

Miguel Cummins trapped Westley lbw, the West Indies successfully reviewing the umpire's not out decision to leave England in trouble at the start of the three-match series.

Cook and Root dug in, however, and took advantage of good batting conditions and wayward bowling with a flurry of crisp boundaries to give their side a solid platform.

Cook, who hit 10 fours, brought up his fifty shortly before the interval and will have his sights firmly set on a 31st test century.

England, fresh from beating South Africa 3-1, are strong favourites to overcome a callow West Indies side without many of their leading players due to contractual disputes with the country's cricket board.

The fifth ever day-night test and the first in England, played with an unfamiliar pink ball, was expected to offer the touring side their best chance to upset England.

(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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