London: Alastair Cook marked his first match since resigning as England Test captain by scoring a century as Essex thrashed Somerset by eight wickets in the First Division of the County Championship on Sunday. Cook is determined to continue his Test career under new skipper Joe Root and the left-handed opener, England’s record Test run-scorer, was in excellent form at Taunton as he made a chanceless hundred. He eventually fell for 110 when he pulled a short ball from South African batsman Dean Elgar, bowling his occasional left-arm spin, to James Hildreth at mid-wicket. Cook batted for over four hours, facing 214 balls and hitting 16 fours.
His exit left Essex 216 for two but by then the visitors were in sight of a victory target of 255, which they achieved without further loss. Tom Westley was 86 not out as Essex celebrated their return to the top flight by winning with more than a day to spare at the home of last season’s runners-up. Cook resigned as England’s Test skipper following their 4-0 series loss in India late last year.
Now that he no longer plays international white-ball cricket, the 32-year-old Cook is not due to represent England again until the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s on July 6.