Cook ton fires England to series win over Windies
England captain Alastair Cook struck 112 to secure England a 2-0 one-day series win over West Indies with a match to spare after the home side defeated the visitors by eight wickets at The Oval on Tuesday.
Cook’s fifth ODI century and fourth as England captain, included 13 boundaries and one six and exploited almost every part of the ground.
A standing ovation led by Rolling Stone Mick Jagger greeted top-scorer Cook as he made his way to the dressing room following his eventual dismissal from a Darren Sammy slower ball.
Cook’s departure at 203 for two meant little for West Indies though, and England were poised perfectly needing only 36 runs for victory with almost 13 overs to spare.
Set a target of 239, Cook and Ian Bell, fresh from his 126 in the first game, set about their task with a opening stand of 122 from 21,2 overs.
Both cruised to their respective half-centuries before the in-form Bell (53 runs from 64 balls) chipped straight to Chris Gayle at short cover following a Darren Sammy delivery which leapt deceptively high off the pitch.
Captain Sammy claimed the only two wickets to fall as the West Indies’ attack lacked bite and failed to trouble the England batsman who found gaps in the field at every possible opportunity.
Earlier in the day both teams observed a minute’s silence and flags around the ground were at half-mast in memory of Surrey batsman Tom Maynard, 23, who was killed on Monday when he was hit by a train.
West Indies’ first innings had begun well thanks to Gayle, who was playing his first one-day international for 14 months.
Gayle smashed a quickfire 53 in 51 balls, including five sixes, after England won the toss and put the visitors in to bat.
His dismissal lbw to off-spinner Graeme Swann, which was reviewed by the television umpire, triggered a collapse and the West Indies slumped from 63 for no wicket to 79 for four.
Dwayne Bravo combined with Kieron Pollard (41) to put on 100 for the fifth wicket as the sunshine started to emerge from behind the clouds in London.
The pair produced some controlled hitting with Bravo top-scoring with 77 from 82 deliveries before holing out to Ravi Bopara who took a steepling catch off the bowling of James Anderson.