BIRMINGHAM: Alastair Cook’s 19th Test hundred propelled England into a first-innings lead against India on the second day of the third Test at Edgbaston as the hosts blazed to 319 for two, a lead of 95 runs, at tea.
Left-handed opener Cook was 129 not out and Kevin Pietersen 36 not out as England pursued a win that would give them both an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the four-Test series and see them replace India at the top of the ICC’s Test Championship table.
Cook equals Strauss’ record
Only Walter Hammond (22), Colin Cowdrey (22), Geoff Boycott (22), Ken Barrington (20) and Cook’s mentor Graham Gooch (20) have now made more Test centuries for England than the opener.
Together with fellow left-hander Andrew Strauss, Cook shared a first-wicket stand of 186 before the skipper fell for 87 to leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
There on, Ian Bell cracked several well-timed boundaries but was soon out for 34 when persevering medium-pacer Praveen Kumar knocked back his off-stump.
India took the new ball as soon as they could, with England 301 for two off 80 overs, the runs kept flowing as Kevin Pietersen, who took the stand with Cook after Bell was bowled out, advanced to drive Mishra for six as England’s third-wicket duo added 67 unbroken runs in just 72 balls at tea.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.