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Cook's ton put England in commanding position
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KOLKATA, Dec 6(Agencies): A brilliant batting performance by England’s captain Alastair Cook has put the visitors in a commanding position against India at stumps on day two of the third Test being played at the Eden Gardens here today.

Cook remained unbeaten on 136 and this was his third century of the series, having scored centuries in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. This was Cook’s 23rd Test hundred which is the highest for an Englishmen. England finished at 216/1 and are 100 runs behind India’s first innings total of 316.

Earlier in the day, India started their innings at 273/7. MS Dhoni who was unbeaten on 22 started positively and dominated the strike. He ensured that Zaheer is safe at the other end playing only the last few deliveries of the over.

The Indian resilience ended when Monty Panesar got a ball to pitch and straighten to hit Zaheer on the pads. The umpire had no difficult ruling him out. Ishant Sharma has played some good hands in the past but he could only last for three delivery as he yorked himself to give Panesar his fourth.

Dhoni then took the onus upon himself as he hit two sixes of Panesar, he completed his half-century but got out on the very next delivery.

The English openers did well in the last innings of the Mumbai Test and the confidence reflected in the way they came out to bat. It was tough for them in the initial overs as both Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma bowled in some good areas. Both batsmen were beaten a number of time but they avoided playing any bad stroke.

A big chance came for India when Cook edged a Zaheer Khan out-swinger but Cheteshwar Pujara standing at first slip grassed the opportunity.

That was the only chance that the Indian team got as both Cook and Compton got in the grove and raised the rate of scoring. Cook never allowed a bad ball go bye and made the Indian bowlers pay. The English openers had a clear plan against the Indian spinners and that was to dominate them. The intentions were clear when Cook hit Ashwin for a six followed by a Compton’s six of Ojha.

England at Tea were 121/0 with Cook nearing his century and Compton closing in on his first half-century. Compton reached the land-mark soon after the break and Cook became got the most hundreds record by an Englishmen to his name. Ojha provided India their first break through

when he beat Compton in the flight hitting him on the pads.

Cook in the next over hit Zaheer for 11 runs making his intentions clear that he is in for a big innings. Jonathan Trott has struggled in the series so far but he looked confident and played with a straight bat. Soon Trott found his touch and hit Ojha for some lovely drives against the spin through mid-wicket.

Indian bowlers looked flat throughout the day and never tested the English batsman. Together Cook and Trott (21*) added 51 unbeaten runs before the end of the day’s play.

Brief Score: India: 316 (Tendulkar 76, Gambhir 60, Panesar 4-90). England: 216/1 (Cook 136*, Compton 57, Ojha 1-65).
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News Updated at : Friday, December 7, 2012
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