Day Three Edgbaston: Cook 294 Puts England Further Ahead
Alistair Cook hit a career best 294 as England continued their uncontested dominance on day three at Edgbaston.
Cook and Morgan (104) were the main contributors pushing England into a 486 run first innings lead.
James Anderson then struck to put India further on the back foot removing Virender Sehwag first ball to record his king pair.
Cook remained solid continuing on from his overnight 182 alongside Morgan, as the pair were forced to dig in during a first session which saw the Indian attack stick to their lines and lengths.
After playing through a tricky period both batsmen passed their first milestones of the day with Morgan passing fifty before Cook, continuing to accumulate, made his way to his second test match double hundred.
There were disruptions for both rain and bad light however this didn’t break the pair’s concentration as they continued with monotonous ease as the first innings lead grew comfortably.
Even a power cut brought play to a halt but after the restart Morgan made his way towards three figures before bringing up his second test century. This saw an immediate gear change in the quest for quick runs but this only resulted in his dismissal, caught at cover by Sehwag for 104.
Both Ravi Bopara and Matt Prior came went in quick time falling to Amit Mishra before Tim Bresnan offered the support needed by Cook as he cruised past 250.
With the lead now past 400 the question was whether Cook could reach the ultimate milestone of 300. Bresnan played some wonderful strokes including a towering six to pass fifty as Cook crept in the 290’s.
But with the 300 mark tantalizingly close he attempted to hit through cover, only to slice to Suresh Raina at deep backward point falling six runs short as the crowd applauded in deafening waves the sixth highest test score by an Englishman.
This saw an instant declaration from Andrew Strauss on 710-7, the third highest total by England in test cricket.
The English crowd could smell blood and a coliseum like atmosphere descended as James Anderson began his charge.
On a king pair many would expect a slightly more defensive Sehwag, but seemingly oblivious to the scenario he flashed hard outside off stump and edged straight to Strauss to slip as Edgbaston erupted.
The opener was expected to bring fresh life to this Indian side however the 4164 mile trip failed to have the desired impact.
Things nearly got better for England when Graeme Swann was introduced however Steve Davies adjudged a strong lbw shout to be missing leg stump much to the disbelief of the off spinner.
The DRS was a major talking point in the build up to the series with India rejecting its use, much to the displeasure of Swann who has benefited from its use.
India trail by 451 runs with 9 wickets remaining and on a wicket offering plenty to England’s spinners the hosts will be confident of extending their series lead.
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