Pakistan v England: Alastair Cook ton rescues tourists in warm-up game

Tour match, Dubai (ICC Global Cricket Academy), day one:
England 269-9 dec v Pakistan Cricket Board XI 23-0
Match scorecardexternal-link

Alastair Cook's hundred helped England recover from a shaky start in their final warm-up match before the Test series against Pakistan.

The left-hander hit 133 off 260 balls in the tourists' 269-9 declared against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI in Dubai.

He added a valuable 90 with Matt Prior, who made 46, after England slipped to 121-5.

The PCB XI, for whom legspinner Yasir Shah took 5-76 and Mohammad Talha 4-42, closed on 23-0 in reply.

England were far from convincing in beating an ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI in their opening tour game, and struggled once more with the bat after Andrew Strauss lost the toss at the Global Cricket Academy.

Strauss and Jonathan Trott fell cheaply to Talha as England slipped to 14 for two, but Cook and Kevin Pietersen (38) put on 83 for the third wicket.

Although Shah accounted for Pietersen and Ian Bell in the space of three deliveries, and had Eoin Morgan taken at deep square-leg shortly after, Matt Prior - playing his first match of the tour - provided timely support for Cook, whose century spanned 206 balls.

Talha, who has played a solitary Test for Pakistan, returned to account for Prior, while Graeme Swann entertained briefly before he, Graham Onions and Cook perished in quick succession to prompt the declaration.

England - without the rested James Anderson and Stuart Broad - employed four bowlers in the eight overs possible by the close, but an early breakthrough eluded them.

The first Test of the three-match series starts on 17 January at the same venue.