Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cook Keeping the Pressure on Hosts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cook Keeping the Pressure on Hosts

Article excerpt

ALASTAIR Cook's second hundred in successive one-day internationals once more underpinned victory as England went 2-0 up with two to play against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Two days after his career-best 137, Cook (102) became the 10th England batsman - and first since Paul Collingwood five years ago - to make back-to-back ODI centuries.

The captain had to work a little harder in England's 250 for four, dropped by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal on 28, having chosen to bat first on a slow pitch. His team did too, winning by a mere 20 runs, compared to Monday's 130-run win.

Cook belied his characteristically functional style by manufacturing some memorable shots among his ten fours for a 118-ball hundred, in a match which bore obvious similarities to Monday's.

His success at the toss, his man-of-thematch hundred, Ravi Bopara's second consecutive 50 and identical figures for Steven Finn (four for 34) were constants from the tourists' first success, on this quick return to the Zayed Stadium.

But for variation it was Samit Patel, with the ball and in the field, who made the most telling interventions as six Pakistan batsmen made double figures but Misbah-ul-Haq top-scored with just 47.

Cook and Kevin Pietersen shared their second 50 opening stand in as many attempts together. But early progress was patchy, Cook playing out a maiden to Umar Gul's first over of the match and needing ten balls to get off the mark.

But he did so with an especially welltimed back-foot drive wide of mid-off for four off Aizaz Cheema, and soon beat the same fielder with a drive on the up off Mohammad Hafeez for the second of two successive fours off the off-spinner.

Shahid Afridi used up Pakistan's DRS for an lbw against Pietersen which vindicated the umpire and spared the batsman, but Pietersen could add only three more runs before Saeed Ajmal's off-break beat the forward poke.

Cook survived when Akmal dropped a faint edge from an attempted cut at Afridi, but the wicketkeeper held a catch to see off Jonathan Trott after a flat-footed waft at a wide ball from Cheema.

Much depended on Cook and Bopara again, and the Essex pair duly served their country well in a stand of 78.

Bopara would have been run out for one by a direct hit, taking an unlikely single to Imran Farhat at mid-on. But he went on to rotate the strike cleverly and push a run-a-ball tempo throughout. The third-wicket pair's accumulation peaked with 38 runs in the batting powerplay, only for Cook to go afterwards when he poked a googly straight back to Afridi.

But Bopara kept his cool and Eoin Morgan hit the first six of the series in a partnership of 56 in the last 10 overs.

It was game on, though, after a cautious yet effective opening stand of 61 between Hafeez and Farhat which ended when the former fell to a tame clip to midwicket off James Anderson. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.