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Cook bats India out of contest with a marathon ton

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Alastair Cook EdgbastonEngland kept their domination intact in the Test Series after a solid Day 2 at Edgbaston to pile up 456 for 3 in reply to India’s modest first innings score of 224. Opener Alastair Cook batted the entire day’s play to score a marathon 182* facing 339 balls and striking 26 fours. The hosts are leading by 232 runs with still plenty of batting left!

Tale of the Morning Session :

England had a slow but steady start by not losing any wickets after play had started 30 minutes late due to a drizzle.  The runs started to flow once the first hour went by and the seam getting softer. By Lunch, England was still having all its wickets intact taking the score to 157 for 0 in 47 overs with Skipper Andrew Strauss closing on a century with 84* while Cook taking his time to reach 51*.

Tale of the Afternoon Session :

The post lunch session saw the English Skipper miss out on a century when he got bowled round his legs to Amit Mishra in the 56th over. Strauss (87 from 176 balls with 13 fours) made up his mind early for a sweep by shuffling far too across his stumps, and failed to get hold of a quicker delivery which brushed the pad and then bowled him round the legs. Replays showed that Amit Mishra had overstepped the crease and it should have been a noball but wasn’t picked by Umpire Taufel! England had put up 186 for 1 in 56 overs at the fall of Strauss.

England’s no.3 Ian Bell kept the momentum with Cook and it was going to be another solid partnership for the hosts. In the 65th over, Bell was dropped by Dravid in the slips but the right hander got out soon without doing much damage when he was bowled by a beauty from Praveen Kumar. Ian Bell (34 from 43 balls with 6 fours) was squared up by a length delivery which angled in towards middle but then left him off the seam to knock out the off stump just like how Dravid was bowled by Bresnan on the first day. The homeside was sitting pretty at 252 for 2 in the 71st over when Pietersen walked in to join Alastair Cook who notched up his 19th Test century.

Although the second new ball was taken by India, it hardly caused any problems for the batsmen and England went to Tea well placed at 319 for 2 in 82 overs with the lead at 95 runs.

Tale of the Final Session :

England made India suffer as Kevin Pietersen stamped his authority on the Indian bowling to score a breezy fifty. He failed to convert into three figures though as he got lbw to Praveen Kumar in the 93rd over. Kevin Pietersen (63 from 78 balls with 9 fours and a six) fell across on the frontfoot in a flick and failed to connect it to get hit on the pad by an inswinger infront of off. The stride wasn’t a long way across nor was it fully forward for a change and Umpire Steve Davis gave the lbw decision in the bowler’s favour. Pietersen added 122 runs for the 3rd wicket with Cook taking England to 374 for 3.

Alastair Cook kept his end going right till the end of the session without losing his concentration and his new partner Eoin Morgan also got amongst the runs. The left handed Morgan was lucky not to be caught on two occasions, the second one was a sitter dropped by Dravid in slip off Suresh Raina. By the close of play, England moved to a commanding 456 for 3 in 115 overs to stretch the lead to 232 runs. Cook has got to  182* and Morgan helped himself to 44* (from 66 balls with 6 fours).

India’s best bowled of the day was Praveen Kumar with 2 for 75 in 32 overs. Leg spinner Amit Mishra was very ordinary conceding 100 runs and bowling only 26 overs!

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