Recent Match Report – Essex vs Worcs Group 1 2021

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Essex 266 for 2 (Cook 115, Westley 75*) vs Worcestershire

For a bowling attack which had just spent an entire day in the field without taking a wicket, the sight of Alastair Cook walking out to bat must have been dispiriting.

Sure, Cook hasn’t been in the runs this season. His six previous innings had realised only one score above 15 and none of 50. But he was always going to come good. Even before this match, he averaged 111.25 in first-class games against Worcestershire on this ground. Putting him up against this team at present is like presenting an arachnophobic with a tarantula sandwich.

So it was that, served a slow track offering bowlers little but toil and heartbreak, Cook gorged. He is, perhaps, just a little more expansive than when he last played for England – just a bit more willing to have a dart outside off stump – but the basics of his game have not changed for many years. Block, leave and if the bowlers stray, especially on to his legs, put them away. If you’ve seen him bat before, you can imagine this innings. This was the 68th first-class century of his career and his 25th for Essex. For much of the day you wondered who would go first: Cook or the cathedral.