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Alastair Cook ensured an England opener scored a hundred for the sixth consecutive time, a streak he started in Abu Dhabi.
Alastair Cook ensured an England opener scored a hundred for the sixth consecutive time, a streak he started in Abu Dhabi.

Cook delight helps wrap up series over West Indies

The captain hits 112 to help seal an eight-wicket win in south London, securing the three-match series 2-0.

England captain Alastair Cook was delighted with his team after they wrapped up the one-day international series against the West Indies with a game to spare at The Oval.

Cook hit 112 to help seal an eight-wicket win in south London, securing the three-match series 2-0.

After an early assault by Windies opener Chris Gayle, England performed in all three disciplines to restrict the tourists to 238 for nine in their 50 overs and then knock off their target for the loss of just two batsmen.

A satisfied Cook told Sky Sports 1: "It was a really good team performance in some tricky circumstances.

"Credit to the group for the way we've handled it, it was a really good performance and a comfortable win in the end.

"We held our nerve."

On a typically reliable batting surface of even pace and bounce, Cook (112) shared a century opening stand with Ian Bell (53) and then put on 81 for the second wicket with Jonathan Trott.

There was barely a false shot from Bell and Cook as the latter won the race to 50, until Bell forewent the chance of his own second successive hundred by loosely pushing a change of pace from Darren Sammy straight into the hands of cover.

Cook made no mistake, until he lobbed a cutter from Sammy over the bowler to be caught by mid-on, as he extended an enviable sequence of six centuries from an England opener in consecutive one-day internationals - a series the captain himself began with back-to-back hundreds against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Unsurprisingly, six victories have resulted, Cook underpinning the latest with his fifth hundred at this level - containing 12 fours in 114 balls.

Cook's century was the sixth by an England opener in the last six one-day internationals, with the captain scoring three of them.

He admitted England's top-order efforts were a source of some satisfaction. "We've talked about it a lot and the lads at the top of the order are delivering," he said.

England created some controversy for resting James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the last match of the Test series but Cook would not rule out changes for the third match.

"We'll see. We'll sit down with Andy (Flower) and see what's best for team England," he said.

Gayle, who clubbed 53 in 51 balls with five sixes and three fours, was making his comeback after over a year out of the international scene.

After putting aside his issues with the West Indies Cricket Board, the batsman missed the series opener with a foot problem.

His foot was heavily strapped again at the end of play but he insisted he would turn out at Headingley on Friday. "It's not too bad, it's just age catching up," he said. "I just have to monitor it. As you know, I'm struggling with basically a stress fracture.

"It's good to be back to be honest."

Having missed the Test series due to Indian Premier League commitments, Gayle has now said he is ready and willing to play for the West Indies in all formats but was notably vague when asked about his plans for IPL6.

"I'm available for all forms of the game," he said. "I've picked up niggles here and there but I'll just monitor them as much as possible.

"There's a lot of cricket to be played and I'm looking forward to it, hopefully I can score some more runs in international cricket.

"I don't know what will happen (at the next IPL). We'll just wait and see what that window will bring."

* Press Association

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