Centurions Cook and Root put England in command


Alastair Cook and Joe Root made scintillating centuries as England dominated day one of the second Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford.

Cook felt his side were guilty of "naive" batting in their first-Test defeat at Lord's last week, but the captain and his deputy Root led by example as England reached 314-4 at stumps on Friday.

Opener Cook (105) scored a magnificent 29th Test century in his 50th game as captain in the longest format on a good pitch after winning the toss, while Root made his 10th Test ton and was unbeaten on 141 at the close.

Mohammad Amir (2-63) was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers and got rid of Cook to end a second-wicket stand of 185, but it was very much England's day.

Amir impressed on his return to the Test arena at Lord's following a six-year absence and the left-arm quick struck early on in Manchester with a sharp delivery that swung in to uproot Alex Hales' (10) off stump.

Pakistan were then frustrated by Cook and Root, who took charge on a sunny day in Lancashire, rotating the strike well and looking in great touch right from the start of their innings'.

Cook punished anything short and wide, playing the cut shot with great effect, while Root treated a vocal crowd to some exquisite strokes off the back foot and scored freely on both sides of the wicket.

The busy Root was the first to reach his half-century and Cook was raising his bat soon after, with both batsmen comfortably dealing with the threat posed by leg-spinner Yasir Shah (0-111)

Cook upped the run-rate after passing 50, dispatching Yasir to the boundary with a glorious drive through extra-cover as the Pakistan bowlers toiled in the afternoon session.

The skipper raced to his century in quick time, celebrating exuberantly after taking two with a push into the leg side, but was dismissed on the stroke of tea when he edged an Amir delivery into his stumps to leave England 210-2.

Root threw his wicket away twice at Lord's, but was in no mood to repeat that and punched the air after reaching his century by clipping Yasir wide of mid-on for another boundary.

The under-pressure James Vince (18) was dropped by Younis Khan at second slip, but failed to learn his lesson and was caught behind flashing at a tempter from Rahat Ali (2-69).

Yasir was warned for running on the pitch before Gary Ballance (23) chopped a ball from Rahat onto his stumps late in the day, with Chris Woakes sent in as nightwatchman to see England through to stumps along with the majestic Root.