Cook falls agonisingly short of 200
Captain Alastair Cook continued to torment India with a monumental knock of 190 as England put themselves in the driver’s seat by taking a mammoth 193 runs first innings lead in the third cricket Test here on Friday.
Cook produced another magnificent effort before he was run-out in a freak manner while Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen also made significant contributions with scores of 87 and 54 respectively with England reaching a massive 509 for six at the end of the third day’s play.
At stumps, Matt Prior on 40 and Graeme Swann on 21 had added 56 runs for the undefeated seventh wicket partnership to compound India’s misery.
On yet another frustrating day for Indian bowlers, Pragyan Ojha was the leading wicket-taker with his 3/140, while Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin managed a wicket each as senior-most pacer Zaheer Khan bowled 29 wicketless overs.
Cook’s marathon effort spanned over eight hours and 12 minutes and he added 173 runs with Trott for the second wicket after being involved in a 165-run opening wicket stand with Nick Compton.
With two days left in the match, England seem to be in a position from where they can push for a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. The Indians, on the other hand, will have to bat out of their skins in the second innings to save the game.
The inept Indian bowling and equally poor fielding did not help the cause as England gained heavily.
Cook was dropped by Ishant Sharma off his own bowling when the English skipper was on 156. India finally brought an end to the England skipper’s marathon innings when Cook was run out in a freakish way by a direct throw from Virat Kohli just before the tea-break.
Cook’s dismissal came shortly after Ojha had given the first breakthrough of the day almost an hour after the lunch when Trott was caught behind by Dhoni with the ball taking a thin edge.
But Pietersen was in his usual aggressive way as he attacked the Indian spinners especially when he smacked Ojha for three consecutive boundaries just after the tea break.
England’s intentions were loud and clear as Pietersen raced to a fine half-century from 83 balls before being trapped leg-before by Ashwin.
Samit Patel (33) could not make it big but notched his highest Test before he top-edged one off Ojha’s bowling to Sehwag in the slips. But thereafter, English duo of Prior and Swann engaged themselves in a fine partnership scoring runs at ease.PTI
(, overnight 216/1)
Alastair Cook run out 190
Nick Compton lbw b Ojha 57
Jonathan Trott c Dhoni b Ojha 87
Kevin Pietersen lbw b Ashwin 54
Ian Bell c Dhoni b Sharma 5
Samit Patel c Sehwag b Ojha 33
Matt Prior batting 40
Graeme Swann batting 21
Extras: (b 13, lb 4, nb 5) 22
(for six wickets in 163 overs) 509
1-165 (Compton, 52.6 overs), 2-338 (Trott, 119.2), 3-359 (Cook, 126.5), 4-395 (Bell, 136.5), 5-420 (Pietersen, 143.2), 6-453 (Patel, 149.6)
Zaheer Khan 29-6-82-0
Ishant Sharma 29-8-78-1
Ravichandran Ashwin 52-9-183-1
Pragyan Ojha 50-10-140-3
Yuvraj Singh 3-1-9-0