Cook’s ton puts England in charge

2012-12-07 00:00

KOLKATA — Alastair Cook struck his 23rd Test century as England dominated day two of the third Test against India here yesterday.

The England captain was unbeaten on 136 as the tourists reached 216 for one at stumps, having dismissed India for 316 earlier in the day.

Cook now holds the record for England Test tons, having also passed 7 000 Test runs earlier in his innings at a younger age than any other player in history.

His third century of the series set his side up for a sizeable first-innings lead, as together with Nick Compton (57) they added 165 runs for the opening stand and Jonathan Trott (21 not out) kept him company to the close of play.

India had their chance when Cook edged Zaheer Khan to slip when on 17, but Cheteshwar Pujara fumbled the catch.

India resumed the day on 273 for seven and England started the morning much as they intended, taking the last three Indian wickets for the loss of 43 runs.

Monty Panesar ensured a dropped catch from Graeme Swann off James Anderson was not too expensive by trapping Zaheer leg before wicket for six runs eight balls later.

Ishant Sharma became Panesar’s fourth victim in his next over, playing all around a straight ball.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni launched him over the top for back-to-back sixes, but left the crease when Steven Finn surprised him with a bouncer that caught the bat handle and went to Swann in the gully.

When England came out to bat, Cook set the tone, playing with elegance, while Compton was the more stoic of the pair, and the latter brought up his maiden half-century just after tea.

Pragyan Ojha was awarded a dubious leg-before decision against Compton, as replays showed the opener had got some glove on the shot.

Trott and Cook added another 50 runs to reach stumps; England will be looking to bat India out of the game on day three and set up the possibility of a win, which would put them 2-1 up in the four-Test series. SCORES IN BRIEF

India 316 (Tendulkar 76, Gambhir 60, Dhoni 52, Panesar 4/90, Anderson 3/89)

England 216/1 (Cook 136*, Compton 57, Ojha 1/65)

England are 100 runs behind with nine first wickets remaining.

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