Fairytale Ton Finale For Cook

Fairytale Ton Finale For Cook

Alastair Cook hit a century in his final innings as England chase victory in the fifth Test, with India on 58-3 in their second knock. The 33-year-old former captain produced a batting masterclass in his final appearance for England before he retires as he fired a second-innings 147 in a third wicket stand of 259 alongside his replacement Joe Root.

A 33rd Test century sees Cook finish his career on 12,472 runs for England to leave him fifth on the list of all-time Test run-scorers.

Speaking after he finally bowed out when edging Hanuma Vihari to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, Cook, who also hailed Root for his 14th Test ton before he was dismissed on 125, told Sky Sports: “It was an unbelievable way to end.

“It was a strange week but I was just determined not to get out early because it would have been an anti-climax, but to go out like that is the perfect way to end. I don’t think it was any doubt I could still play but I certainly found the last 12-18 months harder.

“My greatest skill is to be able to take a lot of emotion out of my batting and to be able to take one ball at a time, and if there has ever been a test of that, it has been this week. To perform like that probably just shows my greatest strength.”

In pursuit of quick runs, Jonny Bairstow hit 18, Jos Buttler was out for a duck and Ben Stokes made a rapid 37.

However, after Sam Curran was caught off the bowling of Vihari for 21, Root declared with England on 423-8 to leave India with a mammoth target of 464 for victory.

Any chance of an unlikely win for the tourists virtually evaporated when Jimmy Anderson trapped Shikhar Dhawan lbw for one and then removed Cheteshwar Pujara in the same manner for a duck to join fellow fast bowler Glenn McGrath on 563 Test wickets.

Captain Virat Kohli was out first ball when he was caught by Bairstow off the bowling of Stuart Broad, with India stunned on 2-3.

KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane reached stumps unbeaten on 46 and 10 respectively and England will look to claim the remaining seven wickets on Tuesday to seal a 4-1 series win, while Anderson will be aiming to make it another memorable day by surpassing McGrath’s bowling record in the process.

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