LONDON: Alastair Cook scored a century in his final test innings as England took complete control of the fifth test against India on Monday, reaching 243-2 at lunch in the second innings on Day 4 at the Oval.
Playing in his 161st and final test match, England's leading test run-scorer began the day on 46 and played fluidly to bring up his 33rd test century before reaching the interval on 103 not out.
Cook's 181-run third-wicket partnership with his successor as captain, Joe Root, who is unbeaten on 92, has taken England's lead to 283.
England already holds an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, but is well placed to widen its victory margin.
Cook, who scored 71 in England's first innings, had already received two standing ovations on Monday before reaching three figures. First he brought up his half century, securing a test career average of above 45 in the process.
Then, on reaching 76, Cook became fifth highest test run-scorer of all time, going past Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakarra's 12,400 to also become the leading left-handed batsman.
He brought up the landmark he and the crowd wanted most in the strangest of circumstances, as what appeared to be a single to take him to 97, became five, as Jasprit Bumrah's throw to the non-striker's end went for four overthrows, taking Cook to 101 from 210 balls.
Cook's finale comes at the same London ground where Australian great Donald Bradman made a duck in his final test innings, denying him a career average of more than 100.