Captain Cook stars again in England victory

England 250-4 Pakistan 230 (England win by 20 runs)

Abu Dhabi

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 this time - dropped by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal on 28, having chosen to bat first on a slow pitch - and his team did too, to get home 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 10 fours for a 118-ball hundred, in a match which bore obvious similarities to the first one of the series here.

Cook's success at the toss, his man-of-the-match 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 perhaps 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.

Early progress was nonetheless patchy, Cook playing out a maiden to Umar Gul's first over of the match and needing 10 balls to get off the mark.

But he did so with an especially well-timed back-foot drive wide of mid-off for four off Aizaz Cheema, and soon afterwards 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 hit him in front anyway in his first over with an off-break that beat the forward poke.

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

Much therefore 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 immediately afterwards when he poked a googly straight back to Afridi.

But Bopara kept his cool, despite managing only four boundaries - and Eoin Morgan weighed in with the first six of the series in a partnership of 56 inside the last 10 overs.

The total appeared marginally above par.

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.

Stuart Broad was then alert to run out Farhat by throwing down the wickets in his follow-through as the batsman scampered back short of his crease.

Patel was responsible for the next two wickets, Younus Khan lbw pushing forward and Azhar Ali bowled off-stump as he shaped to cut a quicker ball which also turned a little.

Patel had a hand in the next too, a crucial one when he dived athletically to his left at cover to take a very good low catch off the returning Finn to see off the dangerous Akmal just as Pakistan were gathering momentum in the powerplay.

Misbah-ul-Haq had survived on 29 via a marginal umpire's call lbw on DRS against Finn - and after Afridi survived a tough chance at long-off to a diving Broad and then hit 10 from two balls in Patel's last over, English nerves were fluttering again.

A tight match remained that way right to the end. But a wicket maiden from Anderson, Afridi bowled heaving to leg, gave the tourists just enough breathing space as Finn then bowled Abdur Rehman and in the 48th over Misbah fell to a steepling, swirling mishit at Broad which was superbly caught by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter.

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...