Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Cook hits a century as England salvage draw

Alastair Cook stroked a career-best 139 not out on Monday as the fourth Test between England and the West Indies ended in a tame draw on the final day at Kensington Oval.

BRIDGETOWN // Alastair Cook stroked a career-best 139 not out on Monday as the fourth Test between England and the West Indies ended in a tame draw on the final day at Kensington Oval. Cook, the left-handed opener, notched his eighth Test century and Kevin Pietersen added an unfussed 72 not out as the visitors comfortably saw off the West Indies' pursuit of a series-clinching victory.

The home team maintain a 1-0 lead going into the fifth and final Test in Trinidad which starts on Friday. England coasted to 279-2 before the captain Andrew Strauss' declaration ended a match in which a total of 1,628 runs were scored for the loss of just 17 wickets. Strauss admitted that the conditions made an outright result difficult. "It [the pitch] remained incredibly true right through to the end of the fifth day," Strauss said.

"It's a bad pitch for captains to be honest, a lot of scratching of heads going on, both myself and [his West Indies counterpart] Chris [Gayle]. But I think the bowlers bowled pretty well in pretty trying conditions and we move on to Trinidad and, hopefully, can level the series there." Cook and Strauss, resuming on 6-0, saw off an early burst from the fast bowler Fidel Edwards and the pair's opening stand of 88 set the platform to ensure the draw.

Cook was 30 when he survived a top-edged slog-sweep off the left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn that just eluded Brendan Nash running back from midwicket but had few alarms after that. When Strauss (38) fell to Gayle (1-46) and Owais Shah (21) was trapped lbw by Benn (1-64) just after lunch at 129-2, the West Indies had a faint hope. But Cook and Pietersen comfortably put on an unbroken 150 for the third wicket to see out the day.

Cook, whose century was his first since December 2007, cracked 15 fours off 256 balls in just under five hours. The Essex batsman, at 24 years, 67 days, became the youngest Englishman to pass 3,000 runs when he reached 97. Pietersen hit seven fours and a six off 116 deliveries. Strauss admitted that it was an important landmark for his opening partner. "Not getting a hundred has been a bit of a monkey on his back so to get rid of that is reassuring," Strauss said.

"The great thing is that he has been playing well throughout that time he hasn't got a hundred. To get that off his back, I think that'll free him up and hopefully you might see him go bang, bang, bang and get a few in a row." Gayle heads confidently to Trinidad where the conditions are expected to encourage the bowlers more. "That would be nice but at the same time, we are 1-0 up. But whatever we get we'll take at this point in time," Gayle said.

"We're still going there with a positive mentality to actually win the game. England have to play a lot of catch-up cricket and once our batters can get the runs on the board then it will be difficult for England." * AP

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National