Alastair Cook
Cook's first Test century since May 2013 came amid a difficult day for the tourists (Getty Images)

Alastair Cook struck his first Test century for nearly two years to help England rebuild on day one of the third Test against the West Indies in Barbados.

Cook recorded his first 100 in the longer form of the game since 27 May 2013, but the score was a rare highlight on a day dominated by the hosts.

Two wickets each for Jason Holder and the recalled Shannon Gabriel put the West Indies in charge after losing the toss, with England closing on 240 for 7.

Jonathan Trott made his third duck of the tour after being bounced out by Gabriel, before Gary Ballance (18), Ian Bell (0) and Joe Root (33) all fell cheaply.

But the innings was held together by Cook who went to his 26th Test century in 259 balls, with a timely score for both his team and his own confidence, however his late dismissal to Marlon Samuels was another blotch on the day.

Moeen Ali (58) and Ben Stokes (22) put on some helpful runs alongside Cook but despite the milestone for the England skipper the West Indies will be hopeful of making further inroads on day two.

Despite holding the momentum after victory on day five in Greneda to take a 1-0 lead going into the final match, the West Indies again took early wickets as the struggling Trott flicked straight to Veerasammy Permaul in the second over.

Ballance made just 18 before he was castled by Holder, and when Bell was dismissed 11 balls later when he hit straight back to the West Indies seamer, England were in disarray.

Root honed in one a record seventh score of 50 or above, but he edged to Denesh Ramdin.

Ali and Cook put on 98 for the fifth wicket at a crucial time for England, but a horrible mix up saw Shai Hope run out the all-rounder in disastrous circumstances.

Stokes picked out gully with less than five overs left but after Cook claimed his dogged century day one ended in the worst possible circumstances, as he edged Samuels behind to give West Indies bragging rights going into day two.