England off to a flier in Perth

Hampshire Chronicle: Alastair Cook named an unchanged line-up for the fourth one-day international in Perth Alastair Cook named an unchanged line-up for the fourth one-day international in Perth

Alastair Cook revealed his desire to stay on as England captain before setting England off to a blazing start in the fourth one-day international against Australia in Perth.

Cook struck eight fours as he raced to 44 from 43 balls before inside-edging a slog sweep at spinner Glenn Maxwell onto his stumps.

With Ian Bell the skipper got England off to their fastest start of the series, taking 73 from the 10-over powerplay, before Maxwell struck in his second over.

Bell reached an unbeaten half-century from 47 balls and with Ben Stokes (22 not out) had moved the score to 125 for one after 20 overs.

Cook's aggression came after he revealed at the toss that he was "desperate" to remain as England captain.

The 29-year-old had suggested in the wake of the series-conceding defeat in Sydney five days ago that he would consider walking away from the post.

After selecting an unchanged line-up, and being sent in to bat by stand-in Australia captain George Bailey, Cook and Bell quickly got the scoreboard ticking over.

James Pattinson's initial waywardness helped, after he bowled four wides in the second over, before Cook took charge when the change bowlers came on.

He heaved James Faulkner to the ropes through leg before greeting Nathan Coulter-Nile with a hat-trick of perfectly-timed strokes through the off-side.

Bell's own intent was being overshadowed by his skipper who ended the powerplay by driving Coulter-Nile for the 12th boundary of the first 10 overs.

Cook appeared set to reach his first half-century since the Boxing Day Test, only to get the faintest of inside edges on to his off stump as he attempted to attack Maxwell.

It hardly slowed England as the 100 was brought up from 84 balls when Ben Stokes, elevated to three again, punched back past Pattinson to the ropes.

Bell's half-century arrived with some luck, when Pattinson misjudged a catch on the cover rope.

Pattinson ran under the ball which bounced beyond him and over the rope.

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