Cook, Pietersen fire England to series sweep

DHAKA: Alastair Cook hit a second successive century and Kevin Pietersen plundered an unbeaten 74 as England crushed Bangladesh by nine wickets in the second and final Test to sweep the series here today.

Skipper Cook (109 not out) and Pietersen added 167 for the unfinished second wicket to help England comfortably achieve a 209-run target on the fifth day. England, who won the opening Test by 181 runs in Chittagong, also completed a double under Cook following their victory in the preceding one-day series.

The England captain, who scored 173 in the previous match, hit 11 fours in a 156-ball knock for his 12th Test hundred. He finished the match in style, sweeping Mohammad Mahmudullah for a four. Pietersen, who switch-hit spinner Shakib Al Hasan for two runs and then smashed Mahmudullah for a four with a similar stroke, hammered one six and nine boundaries in a brisk 79-ball knock.

“There are lot of things for me to work on as a leader,” said Cook, who captained England in the absence of the resting Andrew Strauss. “I’ve enjoyed the challenge and it’s been hard work at stages. It’s going to help me develop as a person and as a captain. He (Strauss) is our captain and I can’t wait for him to come back.”

Bangladesh, trailing by 77 runs, were bowled out for 285 in their second innings shortly after lunch, with skipper Shakib (96) missing out on a Test century on his 23rd birthday. “We had high hopes but we made some mistakes and that cost us the game,” said Shakib. “It would have been very good to draw against England. They have some quality players. We’re really happy with how we played. We fought back very well but all credit to the England team.”

Bangladeshi left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak shared the new ball with seamer Shafiul Islam, but England batted steadily to add 42 for the opening wicket in 13 overs before makeshift opener Jonathan Trott was run out for 19. Cook, leading England for the first time in a Test series, and Pietersen dominated the Bangladeshi attack with a wide range of strokes to ensure an easy victory.

Bangladesh earlier added 113 to their overnight total of 172-6, with Shakib doing the bulk of the scoring. The Bangladeshi captain looked set to complete his second Test hundred before being stumped off debutant off-spinner James Tredwell. He added 71 to his overnight score of 25, cracking 11 fours in a 191-ball knock.

Tredwell, sharing the second new ball with paceman Stuart Broad, was the most impressive bowler as he grabbed three of the four Bangladeshi wickets that fell in the day. He struck in his first over with the new ball when he had nightwatchman Shafiul Islam caught by Trott at deep mid-wicket and then dismissed Naeem Islam for three runs. Shafiul made 28 in a 63-run stand for the seventh wicket with his captain.