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W Indies vs England

Cook century ensures draw

Cook shares a handshake with Sarwan after the match is drawn in Barbados

Fourth Test Match
England 600-6 dec (A J Strauss 142, R S Bopara 104, P D Collingwood 96, A N Cook 94, T R Ambrose 76 no) & 279-2 dec (A N Cook 139 no, KP Pietersen 72 no) v West Indies 749-9 dec (R R Sarwan 291, D Ramdin 166, S Chanderpaul 70, D S Smith 55, J E Taylor 53, G P Swann 5-165)

Alistair Cook struck a career-best Test score of 139 not out - his first century for 14 months - to ensure England claimed a draw from the fourth Test against the West Indies in Barbados.

Cook last reached three figures for his country in December 2007 against Sri Lanka, but ended his long wait as the tourists comfortably fended off any fears of defeat to ensure they retain the chance of squaring the series in Trinidad next week.

Starting the day on 6-0, England lost only two wickets - those of Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah - as they reached 279-2 before the game was abandoned as a draw.

Kevin Pietersen made an unbeaten 72 as the match somewhat predictably meandered to a stalemate, the contest ultimately yielded a total of 1628 runs and just 17 wickets.

Faced with a 143-run deficit and knowing they needed to bat out the day to keep the series alive, England's openers came out in positive mood with both Cook and Strauss playing their shots from the off.

Their cause was helped when Fidel Edwards, the only bowler to genuinely rush the batsmen in the match, rather lost his intensity following a warning from umpire Aleem Dar for running on the pitch.

Cook got off the mark in the opening over of the day with an edged four off Edwards, but from then on hardly offered a false stroke as he headed towards his century.


He did endure a slight scare when on 30 as a top-edged sweep landed narrowly out of the grasp of Brendan Nash as the West Indies fielder desperately retreated to try and pull off a diving catch.

Strauss perished on 38 as he contrived to chop on to his own stumps when attempting to cut Chris Gayle during the West Indies skipper's first over of the day to bring Shah to the crease.

Cook moved to his fourth consecutive Test half-century, and his 12th in as many months, as he cut left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn to the boundary rope.

West Indies then used one of their two referrals for the innings with a failed challenge against Cook who was adjudged not out from a bat-pad off Gayle for 58.

Shah was unable to produce the big score he would have been looking for to help cement his claims for the number three spot as he perished for 21 shortly after lunch.

The Middlesex batsman was trapped leg before by a full delivery from Benn and opted against referring the decision.

With Pietersen at the other end, Cook showed few signs of nerves as he progressed to three figures, eventually bringing up his century with a clip through the on-side for three off spinner Ryan Hinds.

Pietersen produced one huge six off Hinds as he registered his half-century and the pair coasted to an unbeaten 150 partnership before both sides decided to bring the match to a premature and predictable close as a draw.

England now know they must triumph in the fifth Test at Port of Spain if they are to avoid losing the series with West Indies still 1-0 up.

Match Details

26th Feb - 3rd Mar 2009
Aleem Dar and R B Tiffin


Batsman R
Strauss b Gayle 38
Cook not out 139
Shah lbw b Benn 21
Pietersen not out 72
Extras 3nb, 6b 9
Total Close, 81.0 Overs 279 - 2
Full Batting Card


Bowler O M R W
Edwards 10 1 41 0
Powell 12 0 35 0
Benn 21 1 64 1
Taylor 4 0 15 0
Gayle 17 5 46 1
Hinds 14 1 56 0
Sarwan 3 0 16 0
Full Bowling Card