Cook slams unbeaten ton on debut as England Test captain
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AFP) —Alastair Cook celebrated his first day as Test captain with a superb 158 not out to put England in a commanding position in the opening Test against Bangladesh yesterday.
Kevin Pietersen was also in the limelight, regaining form with a robust 99 as the tourists posted 374-3 in their first innings at stumps on the first day. Paul Collingwood was unbeaten on 32.
Cook and Pietersen dominated the Bangladeshi attack with a wide range of shots, adding 170 for the third wicket. The England captain cracked two sixes and 14 fours in the 244-ball knock for his 11th Test hundred.
Pietersen, struggling against spin on the tour before this match, smashed one six and 15 fours in his 135-ball knock before missing out on his 17th Test hundred, bowled by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.
“Funny things happen to cricketers on 99 all around the world,” said Pietersen.
“Probably at the end of your career you look back and think one run could have made a difference to me personally, but for the team 99 was very important. I’d have taken 99 this morning, that’s for sure.”
Left-handed opener Cook, 25, became the fifth England player to make a century in the first Test as captain after Archie MacLaren, Allan Lamb, Andrew Strauss and Pietersen.
Cook, named skipper after Strauss was rested for the tour, also scored a century on his Test debut, against India in Nagpur in 2006.
Bangladesh’s decision to put England in to bat after winning the toss backfired as they struggled for wickets throughout the day on a slow pitch despite introducing spin after seven overs.
Pietersen, who made just 41 in three One-Dayers and 22 in two innings of a practice match recently, batted fluently against spin as he once hit Shakib Al Hasan for two fours and a six in one over.
Cook reached his hundred in style, slog-sweeping spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah over midwicket for a six. He added 72 for the opening wicket with debutant Michael Carberry (30) and 77 for the next with Jonathan Trott (39).