Cook retires with a fairytale ton

Brief scores:
England 332 (1st innings)
Jos Buttler 89
Ravindra Jadeja 4/79

India 292 (1st innings)
Ravindra Jadeja 86*
Moeen Ali 2/50

England 423/8d (2nd innings)
Alastair Cook 147
Hanuma Vihari 3/37

India 345 (2nd innings)
KL Rahul 149
James Anderson 3/45

England won the fifth Test in the final session of day five thanks to Alastair Cook's stellar show in both innings of his final Test on Tuesday at The Oval in South London.

India made two changes to the side that lost at Southampton. An injured Ravichandran Ashwin made way for Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari earned his first Test cap replacing Hardik Pandya.

Virat Kohli called heads and lost his fifth straight toss as England walked out to bat in Alastair Cook’s farewell Test. Cook and Jennings got England off to a brisk start before Jadeja got rid of Jennings in the 24th over just before lunch.

Moeen Ali joined the former English skipper as the hosts went into a shell. Ali kept waiting for scoring opportunities to come his way as England added 55 runs in 31 overs in the second session without losing a wicket.

Cook was looking good on 71 when Bumrah breached through his defence to deny him a hundred. In that same over, Bumrah’s big in-swinger saw Joe Root being trapped for a duck as England suddenly started to crumble.

Ishant Sharma from the other end dismissed Jonny Bairstow (0) as England went from 133/1 to 133/4 in a blink of an eye. Stokes and Buttler tried to resurrect the innings but Jadeja dismissed Stokes (11) cheaply before Ali fell prey to Ishant.

The tall right-arm pacer also bagged Sam Curran for a second-ball duck keeping England reeling at 181/7. Buttler and Rashid batted till stumps and for a while the next morning before the former was trapped plumb by Bumrah. But what followed next changed the course of the game. Buttler and Broad added 98 runs for the 9th wicket and took England to a safe total.

By the time Jadeja dismissed Jos, England already had 332 on the board. India’s chase started on a bad note when Dhawan (3) fell to Broad. Rahul (37) and Pujara batted for 20-odd overs and took India to 70 when a peach from Sam Curran, that had a hint of Wasim Akram in it, castled Rahul.

Anderson struck twice in quick succession as India lost Pujara (37) and Rahane (0) but debutant Hanuma Vihari played second fiddle to skipper Virat Kohli after early jitters. India was going strong when Kohli decided to drive away from the body, eventually edging it to the slip cordon and falling for 49.

Rishabh Pant (5) couldn’t add much before Ravindra Jadeja and Vihari applied themselves in the middle and added valuable runs. Vihari got to his maiden fifty and Jadeja kept impressing from the other end. The duo added 77 runs before Moeen Ali got rid of Vihari.

Ishant departed cheaply and Mohammed Shami followed suit with a loose shot but India had Jasprit Bumrah fighting it out to give Jadeja the required support. The left-hander remained unbeaten on 86 but India had 292 on the board with a 40-run deficit.

England's innings started in a bizarre fashion when Mohammed Shami’s big in-swinger was left alone by Keaton Jennings who managed only 10 runs in his last outing of the series. Moeen Ali joined forces with Alastair Cook again but the left-hander was castled by a Jadeja delivery that got help from the rough for 20.

Joe Root and Alastair Cook from there decided to bat India out of the Test. The duo gave India’s bowlers no chance of a possible comeback and grew from strength to strength. Cook got to a terrific hundred with everyone at The Oval giving him a long, standing ovation. Joe Root ended his dry run and scored a ton after 389 days in a partnership that yielded 259 runs.

Cook got a fitting farewell during his 147 run knock as England added 102 runs after his dismissal to set India a colossal 464 run target.

India were rocked early and reduced to 2/3 with Dhawan, Pujara and Kohli all back in the hut. KL Rahul decided to play his shots from the other end and along with Rahane took India to 56/3 at stumps.

On the last day, India came out with a positive mindset and scored runs at a healthy run rate in the first session. Rahane (37) fell to an uncharacteristic sweep and Vihari (0) couldn’t survive for too long either.

But KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant gave India hope. The duo counter-attacked and scored runs for fun. India went wicketless for the entire second session with Rahul and Pant both crossing the three-figure mark.

Pant, especially, got to his maiden Test hundred with a six over midwicket. In the third session, India’s quest ended as soon as Rahul was dismissed on 149. Pant's entertaining knock to came to a halt when he fell to an Adil Rashid googly for 114.

James Anderson took the final Indian wicket and got past Glenn McGrath’s 563 wicket tally to bowl India out for 345.

England eventually were comfortable winners, taking the series 4-1.

 

 


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