MANCHESTER, England, (Reuters) – 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 yesterday.
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 allowed him to equal Australian great Don Bradman’s tally of test centuries and tie Essex mentor Graham Gooch’s record total of 11 hundreds as England test captain. Amir caused a surprise when he 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.