x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

England tightens grip on second Ashes Test

England produced another match-turning stand between Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott on the second day at Adelaide Oval.

Alistair Cook celebrates after reaching his 15th Test century as Ausralian capain Ricky Ponting looks on.
Alistair Cook celebrates after reaching his 15th Test century as Ausralian capain Ricky Ponting looks on.

Alastair Cook again proved to be an immovable force, blunting Australia's bowlers to put England in a commanding position in the second Test at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

The frazzled Australians endured a long hot day of toil in the field for scant reward as Cook continued to be the marathon man of the Ashes series, scoring his second century.

England cruised past Australia's below-par first innings total of 245 some 23 overs before stumps and finished the sweltering second day at 317 for two, a lead of 72.

Cook followed up his unbeaten 235 in Brisbane to end the day on 136 with Kevin Pietersen, not out on 85, threatening to unleash a big score on Sunday's third day.

Vice-captain Cook, displaying immense powers of concentration, has amassed 438 runs in three innings in this series for one dismissal and has spent all but 11 overs on the field in the first seven days of the series.

"It was excellent conditions to bat in today, 37 degrees and a good wicket to bat on," Cook said.

"It was important to make the most of what our bowlers did yesterday. It was fantastic effort to dismiss them for 245.

"We are in a really good position now but it's only day two so there's a lot of cricket left as we showed last week you can fight back."

The Essex left-hander helped himself to four with a cut off ineffectual spinner Xavier Doherty to reach his ton, his third against Australia. Cook has now scored 15 Test centuries before the age of 26, equalling the achievement of Australian legend Don Bradman. Only India's Sachin Tendulkar, the leading Test run-scorer of all time, managed more, reaching three figures 19 times before his 26th birthday.

The only time Cook looked in trouble came when he needed a review on 64 to survive after he was given out caught behind attempting to hook Peter Siddle in the 43rd over.

Replays showed that the ball hit Cook's arm rather than his bat and umpire Marais Erasmus reversed his decision. "England are in a very good position, but the important thing for us is to make sure we stay in the fight," Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said.

"Test cricket is never easy and we have our backs to wall and we're in for a real fight."

SCOREBOARD

Australia, 1st innings: 245
England, 1st innings (Overnight 1-0):
Andrew Strauss b Bollinger 1
Alastair Cook not out 136
Jonathan Trott c Clarke b Harris 78
Kevin Pietersen not out 85
Extras: (4b, 7lb, 6w) 17
TOTAL: (For two wickets) 317
Overs: 89.
Bowling: Ryan Harris 19-4-51-1 (1w), Doug Bollinger 15-0-76-1 (1w), Peter Siddle 16-3-50-0, Shane Watson 14-5-31-0, Xavier Doherty 15-3-70-0, Marcus North 10-0-28-0.