Ton-up Cook enjoys fairytale finish

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Alastair Cook marked his final England innings with a storybook hundred before James Anderson became the joint most successful fast bowler in Test history by sparking an India collapse at the Oval yesterday.

Cook made 147 and Joe Root, his successor as England captain, 125 as the hosts piled up 423 for eight declared in their second innings of the fifth Test.

Anderson then had both Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara plumb lbw as India, needing 464 for an unlikely win, slumped to one for two in reply.

That double strike meant Anderson had equalled Australia great Glenn McGrath's mark for the most Test wickets taken by any fast bowler of 563.

India Captain Virat Kohli, a thorn in England's side with 593 runs this series, was then caught behind for a golden duck off Stuart Broad to leave the tourists reeling.

At stumps India — already 3-1 down in this five-match series — were heading for defeat at 58 for three, despite KL Rahul's gutsy 46 not out, with no side having made more in the fourth innings to win a Test than the West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia at St John's, Antigua in 2002-03.

The day belonged to the 33-year-old Cook, who is retiring from international cricket after this match.

The Essex left-handed opener, who made 104 not out on debut against India at Nagpur in 2006, became just the fifth player to score a hundred in both his first and last Tests, after Australia's Reggie Duff, Bill Ponsford and Greg Chappell and India's Mohammad Azharuddin.

England resumed on 114 for two, 154 runs ahead, with Cook 43 not out and Root unbeaten on 29.

A capacity crowd, willing Cook to score a hundred following his first-innings 71, gave him the first of several standing ovations as he walked out to bat on a sunny morning.

And he soon had another when Cook, from his second ball of the bay, turned fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah leg side for four to go to fifty.

Cook later cut left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for another well-struck boundary.

But Root was reprived on 46 when an edge off Jadeja was dropped by Ajinkya Rahane at slip.

It was another blow to an India side handicapped by the loss of fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who bowled just eight overs in the innings before succumbing to an ankle injury.

When Cook squirted a single off Mohammed Shami, he moved past Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara's tally of 12,400 runs and into fifth place in the list of all-time leading Test run scorers.

Cook, about to become a father for the third time, was already England's leading Test run scorer and century maker, with this match seeing him extend his national appearance record to 161 Tests.

He completed his 33rd Test century in unusual fashion when, having run a single to go to 97, a wild overthrow from Bumrah gave him four bonus runs.

England 1st Innings 332 (J Buttler 89, A Cook
71, M Ali 50; R Jadeja 4-79, I Sharma 3-62, J
Bumrah 3-89)
India 1st Innings 292 (R Jadeja 86 no, H
Vihari 56)
England 2nd Innings (overnight: 114-2)
A Cook c Pant b Vihari 147
K Jennings b Shami 10
M Ali b Jadeja 20
J Root c sub (Pandya) b Vihari 125
J Bairstow b Shami 18
B Stokes c Rahul b Jadeja 37
J Buttler c Shami b Jadeja 0
S Curran c Pant b Vihari 21
A Rashid not out 20
Extras (b14, lb4, w2, pen5) 25
Total (8 wkts dec, 112.3 overs,466 mins) 423
Did not bat: S Broad, J Anderson
Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Jennings), 2-62
(Ali), 3-321 (Root), 4-321 (Cook), 5-355
(Bairstow), 6-356 (Buttler), 7-397 (Stokes),
8-423 (Curran)
Bowling: Bumrah 23-4-61-0 (1w); Sharma
8-3-13-0; Shami 25-3-110-2; Jadeja 47-3-
179-3; Vihari 9.3-1-37-3 (1w)
India 2nd Innings (target 464)
KL Rahul not out 46
S Dhawan lbw b Anderson 1
C Pujara lbw b Anderson 0
V Kohli c Bairstow b Broad 0
A Rahane not out 10
Extras (lb1) 1
Total (3 wkts, 18 overs, 81 mins) 58
To bat: H Vihari, R Pant, R Jadeja, I Sharma,
M Shami, J Bumrah
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Dhawan), 2-1 (Pujara),
3-2 (Kohli)
Bowling: Anderson 5-2-23-2; Broad 5-0-17-1;
Ali 4-1-8-0; Curran 2-1-1-0; Stokes 2-1-8-0
Match position: India need a further 406 runs
to win, with seven wickets standing
Toss: England
Umpires: Joel Wilson (WIS), Kumar
Dharmasena (SRI)
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM).

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