12 Jan 2012

Cook saves England blushes against Pakistan XI

6:21 am on 12 January 2012

Opener Alastair Cook struck a fighting hundred to prop up a struggling England batting display against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI in their second three-day tour match.

The 27-year-old left-hander hit an attractive 133 to lift England, sent into bat, to 269 for 9 declared on the opening day of the match at the Global Cricket Academy.

In reply, the PCB XI were 22 without loss at the close, with openers Nasir Jamshed on 12 and Afaq Raheem on 10.

Apart from Cook, Matt Prior (46) and Kevin Pietersen (38) were the only top-order batsmen to get some runs as Andrew Strauss (3), Jonathan Trott (0), Ian Bell (0) and Eoin Morgan (11) flopped again.

That left England much to think about ahead of the first Test against Pakistan, starting in Dubai next Wednesday.