Cook steers England to Test series win

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The Independent Online

Captain Alastair Cook guided England to a 2-0 series win over Bangladesh with a controlled century in their nine-wicket victory in the second Test.

After a frustrating morning which saw the tourists' target swell to 209 in a minimum 55 overs, Cook compiled a measured 109 not out in an unbroken 167-run stand with Kevin Pietersen (74no).



James Tredwell took the plaudits with the ball, finishing with four for 82 as the Tigers made 285 all out.



Just prior to lunch Bangladesh might have fancIed setting a sterner chase in fewer overs but they lost their last two wickets in 10 deliveries either side of lunch, with skipper Shakib Al Hasan last man out, four short of a richly-deserved hundred.



England started the morning 95 behind and hoping to knock over the tail in quick time.



But, as has been the case for much of the series, the Bangladesh lower-order had different ideas.



Nightwatchman Shafiul Islam started by edging Tim Bresnan between wicketkeeper and slip but soon settled, hitting Graeme Swann for back-to-back boundaries.



He rode his luck with a couple of aerial sweeps and started to become a genuine concern for the fielding side.



Shakib, meanwhile, looked in solid touch, taking Stuart Broad's first over for 11 on his way to a controlled half-century.



The arrival of the new ball almost brought Broad the breakthrough when he dug one in short and Shafiul mis-hit high into the leg-side.



Jonathan Trott, who dropped a sitter at point yesterday, made good ground in the deep and took a diving, one-handed catch only to see the ball pop out as he hit the ground.



Shafiul finally fell for 28 in the next over, top-edging Tredwell to give Trott a much simpler take.



Naeem Islam tempered his natural aggression for half-an-hour before losing patience to feed Pietersen at mid-on and hand Tredwell a second success.



That made it 259 for eight but Shakib's efforts ensured Bangladesh eked another 26 runs for the last two wickets and - importantly - kept England waiting until after to lunch to bat.



Steven Finn claimed Abdur Razzak lbw three balls before the break and Shakib was stumped charging Tredwell on 96 just nine deliveries after the resumption.



The target of 209 had the potential to look tricky if early wickets fell, but England took the game at a canter.



Trott knew he had to find an extra gear, having laboured for 195 balls for his first-innings 64, and duly steered the fourth ball of the innings to the third-man boundary.



As expected, the Tigers gave left-arm spinner Razzak the new ball, though he strayed in length to gift Cook his first four of the day.



England compiled steadily, but not dramatically, to reach 42 before Trott was run out for 19 by the alert Jahurul Islam.



That brought Pietersen to the crease and after driving Shakib for four he unleashed a switch-hit, getting two for it despite a poor connection.



Undeterred, the number three used his feet well to hoist Razzak for a towering straight six.



Cook eased past 40 with fours off Mahmudullah and Shakib in successive overs but narrowly survived an lbw appeal having just got his pad outside the line.



Pietersen also had a moment of fortune, almost cannoning a Mahmudullah delivery off his thigh pad and on to leg stump.



At tea England were 95 for one, leaving 114 to get in the last session.



Soon after the restart Cook pulled a fifth boundary to bring up his half-century.



England coasted past 150, and the century stand, as the home side began to leak runs and take on a resigned look in the field.



Pietersen followed his captain to fifty off his 55th ball, lofting a sweep for four off the increasingly benign Razzak.



Boundaries became an increasingly cheap commodity as the hosts started to toss up some loose bowling, but Cook will nevertheless be pleased with the driven four that brought up his 12th Test century and second in two matches as stand-in skipper.



He then swept a full toss for four more to seal the win with 11 overs left to play.



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