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Cook fine with playing conditions


Alastair Cook talks about England's victory over Scotland

By Callum Dent 

England skipper Alastair Cook was satisfied with the conditions in which the Royal London one-day international against Scotland was played in at Mannofield Park.

The wet weather in Aberdeen delayed the start of the fixture by five-and-a-half hours, with a 23-overs a side game getting under way at 4pm.

After Cook and Ian Bell, who hit a third half-century in his last five ODI innings, had shared an opening stand of 83, the elements halted proceedings again for 20 minutes.

But, despite losing another three set of sixes as a result of the rain, Cook believes the decision to return to the field was correct as England completed a 39-run Duckworth/Lewis victory to get Peter Moores' second spell in charge of his country off to a successful start.

"Those were borderline conditions to play in," he said.

"But just in a one-off game, with not so much riding on it, I think it was the right decision.

"I think it would have been wrong if we hadn't - and credit to both sides for just getting on with it.

England skipper Alastair Cooks tests out the outfield at Mannofield Park following the early morning wet weather in Aberdeen

"Those conditions are as wet as I have ever fielded in. It probably wasn't fit to play, if you are being totally honest.

"I was in standing water at mid-off, and there were other patches like that. But both sides just got on with it.

"I thought the way Scotland fielded, especially in those conditions, was exceptional."

Cook and Bell, with 44 and 50 respectively, were instrumental in England posting 167 for six.

Scotland struggled in their reply as James Anderson struck twice in the first three overs, but Michael Leask breathed a bit of life into their innings with a brutal 16-ball knock.

The right-hander, born in Aberdeen, excited his home crowd by smashing two fours and a quintet of maximums in his knock of 42.

However, his dismissal signalled the end of Scotland, who in pursuit of a revised target of 173 finished on 133 for nine with James Tredwell returning 4-40.

Michael Leask lights up Scotland's chase, which ended on 133 for nine, with a stunning 16-ball 42 that included two fours and five sixes

"He was dangerous, wasn't he?" said Cook.

"The only people who timed the ball were he and Belly, and they did it beautifully.

"He (Leask) has got a lovely swing of the bat - and when he hit it, it stayed hit.

"It was quite hard to keep getting after 'Tricky Treds' - he keeps pulling it back a little bit, even when the ball was extremely wet and he wasn't getting much grip on it at all.

"But he (Leask) was dangerous, and that's what Twenty20 cricket is about. One guy can win a game.

"It would have needed him to get 80 or 90 to do it ... but while he was still in, it was definitely a possibility."

The 23-year-old Leask added: "I'm quite a confident person when I go into bat.

"I know I can hit the ball quite cleanly...and if I am straight I usually connect quite well."

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