Captain Cook Tastes His First Soup




Alastair Cook – a name predominant and renowned as a run machine in test cricket was often questioned about his ODI spot. And the moment came not just as a player but to lead his team as the ODI skipper after his former captain Strauss had stepped down after the World Cup loss. Cook plunged into the act and conquered his first series win as full time ODI captain against the 2011 World Cup runners-up.

Captain Cook tastes his first soup

Captain Cook tastes his first soup

The big news came as Stuart Broad was sidelined and Samit Patel will sneak in as England opted to bat first. Dilshan opened the bowling attack and budding keeper Kieswetter and Cook looked solid from the start. Kieswetter got into aggressive mode and raced the team’s total to 75 in first ten overs. Cook bravely took the batting powerplay in the 13th over and fell as the first victim and Kieswetter too followed him. England was pushed back as Pietersen too departed but Trott and Eoin Morgan batted sensibly and kept peaking at the right time. The 118 run stand came to an end by offie Dilshan and the gamble paid off as that had triggered the collapse. Randiv ran through the middle order and picked up 4 wickets in quick succession and got his 5 wicket haul. But a useful 12 from Anderson helped England to set the Lankans a challenging target of 269.

Debutant Karunaratne could not prove his mark and fell early. Dilshan was continuing his bad run and became Bresnan’s second victim. Anderson too had his bite as he scalped the prize wicket of Jayawardene as Sri Lanka was reduced to 29/3. Lord’s centurion Chandimal gave good support to Sangakkara and looked to change tides of the match but Swann had other ideas and broke the partnership not after Chandimal made a useful 50.  Cook brought in Bresnan for his second spell and it paid off almost immediately as he rattled Sangakkara’s stumps and left Sri Lanka tattering at 131/5. It was all looking England’s way but Mendis being a complete unknown entity provided some assistance to Angelo Mathews at the other end. It was looking like the match when Sri Lanka pulled off with a win against Aussies on the back of Mathews and Malinga but Samit Patel did his bit to remove Mendis and suddenly they were at 246/8. Run rate pressure got the better of Mathews as he slogged his wicket to a brilliant slower ball from Dernbach and Malinga too could not do further as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 252 giving England a 16 run victory.

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Karthik Gopalan

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