LONDON: Alastair Cook marked his final Test innings with a storybook hundred and England captain Joe Root also made a century as India crumbled at the Oval on Monday.
England, already 3-1 up in this five-match series, were 364 for six in their second innings — a lead of 404 runs — at tea on the fourth day of the fifth Test.Cook made 147 and Root, his successor as England captain, 125, with the pair putting on 259 for the third wicket.
The 33-year-old Cook is retiring from international cricket after this match and Monday’s innings meant the Essex left-handed opener became just the fifth player and first Englishman to score a hundred in both their first and last Tests after Australia’s Reggie Duff, Bill Ponsford and Greg Chappell and India’s Mohammad Azharuddin.
England resumed on 114 for two, already 154 runs ahead, with Cook 43 not out and Root unbeaten on 29.A capacity crowd, willing Cook to score a hundred, gave him the first of seven standing ovations on Monday as he walked out to bat on a sunny morning.
And they were soon giving him another when Cook, from his second ball of the day, turned fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah off his pads to complete a 127-ball fifty with his fourth four.Cook in fine touch, late cut left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for another well-struck boundary.
Root followed up by sweeping Jadeja for two well-struck fours.But he was reprieved on 46 when an edged-forcing shot off Jadeja was dropped by Ajinkya Rahane at slip.
Root then late cut paceman Mohammed Shami to go to fifty with his eighth four.When Cook squirted a single off Shami, he moved past Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara’s tally of 12,400 runs and into fifth place in the list of all-time leading Test run-scorers.
Meanwhile Root went down the pitch to drive Jadeja for six.And when Shami dropped short on a good pitch, Root pulled him for a resounding four.Cook was already England’s leading Test run scorer and century maker, with this match seeing him extend his national appearance record to 161 Tests.
And he completed his 33rd Test century in unusual fashion when, having run a single to go to 97, a wild overthrow from Bumrah gave him four bonus runs.The crowd rose to give Cook, who made 71 in the first innings, yet another ovation as he celebrated a 210-ball century featuring eight fours and that five which took him to three figures.
England won toss
England 1st Innings 332 all out (J Buttler 89; R Jadeja 4-79)
India 1st Innings 292 all out (R Jadeja 86*; J M Anderson 2-54, M M Ali 2-50)
England 2nd Innings
A Cook c Pant b Vihari 147
K Jennings b Shami 10
M Ali b Jadeja 20
*J Root c sub (Pandya) b Vihari 125
†J Bairstow b Shami 18
B Stokes not out 13
J Buttler c Shami b Jadeja 0
S Curran not out 7
Extras (b 13, lb 4, w 2, pen 5) 24
Total (6 wickets, 105 overs) 364
Yet to bat: A Rashid, S Broad, J Anderson
Fall: 1-27, 2-62, 3-321, 4-321, 5-355, 6-356
Bowling: Bumrah 23-4-61-0 (1w); Sharma 8-3-13-0; Shami 23-3-97-2; Jadeja 43-3-147-2; Vihari 8-1-24-2 (1w)
Umpires: Joel Wilson (West Indies) and Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka). TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia). Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)