MANCHESTER, July 22: Alastair Cook marked his 50th Test as England captain with a century before he fell to Mohammad Amir on the stroke of tea at Old Trafford today.
That meant England were 210 for two heading into the final session of the first day of the second cricket Test.
Cook, who won the toss, was out for 105 off what became the last ball before tea when he was bowled off an under-edge by an Amir delivery that kept low.
Together with vice-captain Joe Root (87 not out), Cook put on 185 for the second wicket after Alex Hales (10) was bowled by Amir.
At tea, Amir had taken two for 48 in 12.4 overs.
For left-arm quick Amir, who made his return to Test cricket in Pakistan�s 75-run win in the series opener at Lord�s � the scene of his 2010 spot-fixing crime � Cook�s wicket was an ideal response to the repeated cries of �No-ball!� he had to endure from some sections of the Old Trafford crowd today.
By contrast Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who took 10 wickets at Lord�s, had tea figures of none for 69 in 18 overs.
Left-handed opener Cook�s 29th Test century saw him extend his own England record and drew the Essex batsman level with Australia great Don Bradman�s tally.
Bradman, however, played just 52 Tests while this was Cook�s 131st match in the format.
More significantly, this was Cook�s first century in 20 Test innings since his monumental 263 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in October.
Amir had Hales dropped in the gully on six by Asad Shafiq.
But three balls later, having repeatedly moved the ball away from Hales, Amir skilfully swung the ball back into the right-handed opener.
The delivery also cut off the seam a touch and knocked over Hales�s middle and off stumps.
England were 25 for one after seven overs. Shah saw his second ball Friday cut in front of point by Root for four.
SCORECARD (at tea)
England 1st Innings: A Cook b Mohammad Amir 105, A Hales b Mohammad Amir 10, J Root not out 87. Extras: (LB-3, W-3, NB-2) 8. Total: (For 2 wkts in 55.4 overs) 210. Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-210. Bowling: Amir 12.4-2-48-2; Rahat 12-1-44-0; Riaz 11-1-37-0; Shah 18-3-69-0; Azhar 2-0-9-0. � AFP