A half-century in debut Test innings, a century in second. Very few could make such a dream start, and Alastair Cook was one of those. Making his bow for England against India at Nagpur in 2006, the tall and lanky left-handed opening batsman 60 and 104 in the match, announcing himself in front of the world.
Fast forward 12 years, and England's greatest Test player achieved the same feat, this time in his final match of his career. In the ongoing fifth and final Test between England and India at Oval, Cook scored a well-made 71, his first half-century of the series, before making 147 in the second innings.
In doing so, Cook became just the first-ever batsman to score half-centuries and centuies in their first and last Test matches.
Further, his brilliant display on Monday earned him yet another another record. The former England skipper overtook Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara to become the fifth highest run-getter in the format's history. He ends up with 12472 runs in 161 Test matches.
Earlier on Monday, Cook and Joe Root resumed play on the fourth day with England leading by154 runs. Early in the day, India suffered a setback with Ishant Sharma getting ruled out for rest of the match due to an ankle injury.
This, combined by some excellent batting and mediocre bowling helped the hosts dominate the day. Cook went on to score 147 runs of 186 runs, which overshadowed his compatriot Joe Root's contribution of 125 runs off 190 balls.
With the Indian bowlers struggling to break this partnership, debutant Hanuman Vihari rose to the occasion. He struck twice in the 95th over by getting rid of both the batsmen. First Root was holed out and later Cook followed after he was caught behind by Rishabh Pant. England, in search for quick runs, lost wickets at regular intervals before declaring their innings at 423 for 8.
Coming out to bat knowing a draw was the only option left, India made the worst possible start. The top order once again collapsed like pack of cards with Shikhar Dhawan (1), Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Virat Kohli (0) dismissed in quick succession, leaving the score at 2 for 3. Though, KL Rahul (46) and Ajinkya Rahane (10) survived some threatening bowling spells from England to take India for 58/3 at the end of Day four.