Centurions Cook and Root dazzle for England
MANCHESTER – Alastair Cook and Joe Root made centuries to lift England to a commanding 314 for four at the close on the first day of the second test against Pakistan on Friday.
The pair shared a smooth second-wicket partnership of 185 in excellent batting conditions at Old Trafford to frustrate the Pakistanis who won the first test at Lord’s.
Cook was bowled by Mohammad Amir for 105 on the stroke of tea but Root continued to flay the tiring attack to all corners of the ground and finished unbeaten on 141 with Chris Woakes two not out.
Pakistan started well after losing the toss when fast bowler Amir bowled Alex Hales for 10 with a rapid full-pitched delivery.
Cook and Root carried the hosts to 95 for one at lunch and the skipper, mixing watchful defence with crisp drives and cuts that brought him 15 fours, calmly advanced to his 29th test hundred and first of the year.
It was a surprise when Amir produced a ball that kept low and crashed into Cook’s stumps off the bottom of the bat.
Root also looked in excellent touch after his recent barren patch and went to his 10th test century by clipping spinner Yasir Shah to the mid-wicket boundary, one of his 18 fours.
James Vince played some well-timed strokes on his way to 18 but, as so often before in his fledgling test career, he was undone by a full ball outside off stump and edged Rahat Ali to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Gary Ballance then made a careful 23 before he chopped a lifting ball from Rahat on to his stumps.
England 1st innings A. Cook b Amir 105 A. Hales b Amir 10 J. Root not out 141 J. Vince c S. Ahmed b R. Ali 18 G. Ballance b R. Ali 23 C. Woakes not out 2 Extras (lb-3 nb-7 w-5) 15 Total (for 4 wickets, 89 overs) 314 Fall of wickets: 1-25 A. Hales,2-210 A. Cook,3-238 J. Vince,4-311 G. Ballance To bat: B. Stokes, J. Bairstow, M. Ali, S. Broad, J. Anderson Bowling M. Amir 20 - 4 - 63 - 2(w-1) R. Ali 20 - 3 - 69 - 2(w-2) W. Riaz 16 - 1 - 59 - 0(nb-7 w-2) Y. Shah 31 - 5 - 111 - 0 Az. Ali 2 - 0 - 9 - 0 Referees Umpire: Kumar Dharmasena Umpire: Rod Tucker TV umpire: Joel Wilson Match referee: Richie Richardson. –Reuters