Cook dominates for England

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook

First published in International

Alastair Cook and Nick Compton raced to a century opening stand in England's final warm-up match, against Haryana, before next week's first Test.

Cook (78 not out) returned in fine form after sitting out his team's second tour match against Mumbai A, and Compton (43no) was also assured against a modest attack as England reached 132 for none from 28 overs by lunch.

Cook in particular had a commanding air on an apparently even batting surface, after winning the toss.

He was under way with a string of early boundaries, three in one over including an uncharacteristically expansive cover-drive off Sanjay Budhwar.

The left-arm seamer was playing his first first-class match for two years, after serious injury.

But it was a measure of the quality, or otherwise, of England's opponents here that he was nonetheless arguably the pick of the bowlers.

Compton was more circumspect than his captain, understandably as he seeks to cement his claims to a Test debut next week. But a commanding off-drive off Budhwar was a confidence boost.

Cook continued to set the pace and reached his 50 from 66 balls, having hit 10 fours.

There was scarcely an alarm for either batsman, although Compton did edge one four wide of the slips off Amit Vashisht on 19.

Cook's prospective new Test opening partner drove especially well through the off-side against an attack which stuck to seam until the final over before lunch - even though it was captained by international leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

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