Strauss ton puts England in control
Andrew Strauss has silenced his detractors with his first Test century in 26 attempts, spread over the past 18 months.
Not since his second-innings 110 in the famous Ashes-opening draw in November 2010 had the England captain managed to add to his 19 hundreds at the highest level.
But he did this time - reaching the milestone with his favourite square cut, off opposite number Darren Sammy, for his 17th four from 213 balls in the hosts' ominous 259 for three in reply to the West Indies' 243 all out, on day two of the first Investec Test at Lord's.
For his trouble, Strauss (121no) received a mid-pitch hug from his third-wicket partner Kevin Pietersen - before continuing his own, less bombastic, acknowledgment of applause and goodwill from his home crowd.
There could be no doubting the sense of accomplishment and relief nonetheless after a century which means Strauss' critics must fall silent.
He has famously led England to the top of the world Test rankings for the first time. But after his own relative lack of productivity at the top of the order extended through an awkward winter in Asia, the grumblers were beginning to gather support.
Strauss needed a flying start to the summer, on the ground where he made a century on Test debut eight years ago - and that is exactly what he and his team got. A grafting innings was largely free of blemish, apart from a clutch of uncertain shots after tea which culminated in him being dropped at slip on 95 - but off a no-ball from Fidel Edwards.
After the loss of his opening partner Alastair Cook in the morning session, he shared a stand of 147 with Jonathan Trott (58) as the tourists struggled to remain competitive on a benign pitch but under cloudy, floodlit skies.
Strauss closed out the session with Trott and began the afternoon cautiously - with one run from 25 balls in more than half an hour as the West Indies pace attack tried to win a patience game.
Trott completed his 105-ball 50 just before tea, only to fall in early evening when he went to drive Sammy on the up and edged to a diving and safe Denesh Ramdin behind the stumps. Pietersen then ushered Strauss past his hundred, and dominated a partnership of exactly 50, before edging a cut at Marlon Samuels into Ramdin's gloves.