Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
England captain Alastair Cook.
England captain Alastair Cook.

Record centurion Alastair Cook puts England in control of third Test

The England captain became his country's Test century-maker after his 23rd hundred helped put England in charge against India at Eden Gardens.

Alastair Cook became England's most prolific centurion when he completed his 23rd - and third in successive matches - at Eden Gardens to put his side firmly in control of the third Test against India.

Cook (136 not out) is also the youngest batsman in history to 7,000 runs, a milestone he passed with his 88th this afternoon as he and Nick Compton took control in an opening stand of 165 on day two of the third Test against India.

By the time Cook reached his hundred, a fifth in consecutive Tests as captain dating back to his time as Andrew Strauss' deputy in Bangladesh almost three years ago, the tourists were well on their way to a stumps total of 216 for one, in reply to 316 all out.

His latest century inches him one ahead of teammate Kevin Pietersen - as well as three other greats in Geoff Boycott, Wally Hammond and Colin Cowdrey.

Cook is still only joint-20th in an all-time list headed by India's own Sachin Tendulkar on 51, but at the age of 27 should have many years ahead of him to move up the table.

England's openers needed a little fortune to go with their skill, against pace and spin, as they turned their fourth 50 stand in succession into a first century together.

Cook was dropped on 17 when he edged Zaheer Khan low to slip, where Cheteshwar Pujara could not hold the catch.

Otherwise, though, the most likely mode of dismissal appeared to be a run-out as Cook and his apprentice partner took chances with scampered singles and more than once were in danger of midwicket collisions as they kept holding the same line.

There were to be no such mishaps, though, and Cook duly reached his 179-ball century with a leg-glance off Ravichandran Ashwin - having previously also hit the off-spinner for one memorable straight six to go with his 14 fours.

Compton (57) had fewer obvious scoring options but also profited from using his feet, hitting Pragyan Ojha for a six of his own over long-on, on his way to a maiden Test half-century in 123 balls.

Grandson of Denis, and two years Cook's senior, Compton therefore claimed a notable milestone of his own - albeit on a reduced scale to his captain's - before Ojha got his revenge.

Cook was safely past his hundred when Compton missed an attempted sweep at the slow left-armer and was, eventually, given out lbw by umpire Rod Tucker just as the batsmen completed what they thought by then was a leg-bye.

Jonathan Trott had made two ducks in his last three Test innings, but did enough here to help Cook consolidate an advantage which gives England clear prospects of pushing for a second successive win over their hosts.

Monty Panesar had earlier finished with four for 90, to add to his 11 wickets in the series-levelling victory in Mumbai, as England picked up the last three Indian wickets for 43 runs this morning - despite some late belligerence from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (52).

The home captain made his intent clear immediately, up the wicket to the second ball of the day to crunch James Anderson past mid-off.

His overnight partner Zaheer was dropped by Graeme Swann off Anderson, but was soon gone anyway - lbw to a Panesar arm ball.

Panesar also made short work of Ishant Sharma, but the last-wicket pair frustrated England for more than half an hour.

Ojha made no runs but kept out 19 balls, allowing Dhoni to club Panesar for successive sixes over long-off and long-on as England brought the field up for the final two deliveries of one over.

The cat-and-mouse continued, with four consecutive maidens at one point, until Cook had to rest Anderson for Steven Finn.

It was a change which brought Dhoni's 50, with his fifth four from 113 balls crashed past cover, but then the end too when he gloved the next ball and Swann did well to make ground from slip to complete a diving catch.

England had done well to restrict Dhoni's attempt to alter the momentum of a match which was to swing still further the tourists' way thanks to the next historic tour de force from Cook's remorseless repertoire.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi, left, battles for the ball during the Arabian Gulf Cup final between against Al Jazira at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on April 19, 2014. Al Hammadi hit the game-winner in the 81st minute for Ahli. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli maintain course for domestic treble with victory over Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup

Al Ahli maintained their hopes of a domestic treble with a superb comeback victory against Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Saturday night.

 Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates celebrate after the bowlers set up an easy win over Mumbai Indians. Pawan Singh / The National

Bowlers set up Bangalore as Patel stand tall over Mumbai

Mumbai bowlers gave early hope but Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers' unbeaten stand of 99 ensures second defeat for the men in blue in Dubai.

 Roelof Kotzee is leading UAE to unchartered territory. Sarah Dea / The National

UAE step into the unknown ahead of Asian Five Nations

Performance manager Roelof Kotze will give 12 players their first experience of international rugby, but there is also minimal information on Singapore ahead of first Test in Dubai on Wednesday, reports Paul Radley.

 Manuel Pellegrini believes Manchester City have the ability to bounce back from recent defeats to win the Premier League title. Andrew Yates / AFP

Pellegrini certain Manchester City will take title race down to wire

As his side host West Brom in a must-win match, the manager is banking on other teams dropping points in the last few weeks of the Premier League title race.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia winces in pain during his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 19, 2014. Federer prevailed to set up an all-Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka. SEBASTIEN NOGIER / EPA

Ailing Djokovic will ‘just rest now’ while Nadal not pressing the panic button

Djokovic says only rest will help is injured right wrist after he falls to Roger Federer on Saturday, and Nadal suffers just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National