Cook ton props up England

Skipper slams second century in as many matches

Alastair Cook scored his second successive century to help England set Pakistan a target of 251 runs to level the four-match one-day international series at 1-1 here on Wednesday.

Cook hit 102 to become the first England captain and ninth English batsman to score back-to-back ODI hundreds. He made 137 on Monday as England won by 130 runs.

Ravi Bopara struck 58 not out for his second consecutive half-century, after hitting 50 in the first match. Cook smashed 10 fours from 121 balls, while Bopara belted four boundaries from 66 deliveries.

Pakistan opening bowler Aizaz Cheema was the pick of the bowlers with 2/49 from nine overs.

While England retained the same team from the first ODI, Pakistan made three changes. Former captain Shoaib Malik was replaced by Abdul Rehman, Cheema was preferred instead of paceman Wahab Riaz and batsman Azhar Ali replaced Asad Shafiq.

Cook again won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that looked flat and full of runs.
Kevin Pietersen and Cook ensured England made a good start, with the captain looking the more solid of the two. His partner survived an lbw review appeal from Shahid Afridi when on 23, the ball would have clipped leg stump.

Pietersen, who stroked four boundaries, fell three runs later with the total on 67 in the 16th over when Saeed Ajmal trapped him lbw. Cook added another 49 with Jonathan Trott despite a tight spell from Afridi, who finished with 1/38 from 10 overs.

Trott’s dismissal brought Bopara and Cook together, a pair who put on a 131-run stand in the first match. Cook cut impressively, put away any loose deliveries at his pads and kept rotating the strike with singles.

Score Board

ENGLAND
Cook c & b Afridi    102
Pietersen lbw Ajmal    26
Trott c Akmal b Cheema    23
Bopara c Akmal b Cheema    58
Morgan (not out)    25
Extras (B-1, LB-5, W-10)    16
Total (for 4 wkts, 50 overs)    250
Fall of wickets: 1-67, 2-116, 3-194, 4-250.
Bowling: Gul 7-1-43-0, Cheema 9-0-49-2, Hafeez 4-0-24-0, Rehman 10-1-36-0, Afridi 10-1-38-1, Ajmal 10-0-54-1.

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