Ind vs Eng: Alastair Cook signs off in style at Oval
Opener Alastair Cook (147) signs off in style at the Oval by becoming the first Englishman and only the fifth batsmen to hit a century in their debut and final Test matches
Alastair Cook (nicknamed Chef) hit a fairytale farewell century in his final Test innings for England yesterday. The former England captain, who slammed a hundred on debut in 2006, registered his 33rd Test ton on the fourth day of the final Test against India at The Oval. In doing so, Cook became only the fifth man to hit a century in their first and last Tests, and the first Englishman. Cook scored a half-century and century in this Test match just like he did against India on debut in 2006.
Cook finally fell for 147 — moments after skipper Joe Root was dismissed — after also passing the 12,400-run tally of Kumar Sangakkara during the course of his innings to become the fifth highest run scorer in Test history. The end came when he nicked behind to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant off the bowling of Hanuma Vihari.
His runs came from 286 deliveries and included 14 fours. The opener, who also registered a half-century in the first innings, began the day on 46 and soon moved past 50 with a trademark clip of his legs for four off Jasprit Bumrah. Yet, his sights were clearly set much higher and he continued to make steady progress. His next landmark came as he reached 76 with a single into the leg-side to surpass Sangakkara and, in addition, become the most prolific left-hander in Test cricket.
Only Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid have scored more runs. Cook actually reached his hundred fortuitously, hitting a single into the on-side — and then watching as Bumrah’s wayward throw ran away for four overthrows. Cook celebrated by acknowledging the crowd, hugging Root and then punching his fist towards the sky. He grinned broadly as he received a lengthy standing ovation.
Bill Ponsford, Greg Chappell and M Azharuddin
Others who scored tons in first and last Tests
Reggie Duff (Australia) Test debut (1902) v England: 32 & 104 Last Test (1905) v England: 146 & DNB
Bill Ponsford (Australia) Test debut (1924) v England: 110 & 27 Last Test (1934) v England: 266 & 22
Greg Chappell (Australia) Test debut (1970) v England: 108 & DNB Last Test (1984) v Pakistan: 182 & DNB
M Azharuddin (India) Test debut (1984-85) v England: 110 & DNB Last Test (2000) v SA: 9 & 102
11,845 No. of runs scored by Cook as an opener in Test cricket, more than any other batsman
12,472 Cook surpasses Kumar Sangakkara (12,400) as the fifth highest run-scorer in Test cricket
Seven No. of Test centuries scored by Cook against India, the most by any Englishman
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