Saturday 21 April 2018

Cook century fires England towards top


Stephen Brenkley

ANY RESIDUAL notion that this Test series presented a contest between equals was finally dismantled yesterday.

Sometime today, or perhaps a little later, if a combination of rain, riots or miracles such as resistance from their opponents are involved, England will confirm their status as the world's top team.

They were utterly dominant on the second day of the third Test, more imposing than in the two preceding matches, which is saying something since they won those by 196 and 319 runs respectively.

Alastair Cook scored his 19th Test hundred, giving nary a chance and growing in command as the day went on. India had dismissed him four times for a total of 20 runs in four innings before arriving at Edgbaston and might have begun to wonder what all the fuss was about. Now they know.

Despite the brief hiatus, Cook has made seven hundreds in his last 18 Test innings. He was 182 not out at the close, becoming England's fourth centurion of the series.

England, who scored 372 runs in the day's 90 overs, were 232 ahead with seven wickets in hand. They are likely to keep piling on the runs today before declaring.

Captain Andrew Strauss was out 13 runs short of a deserved hundred and has now passed three figures only once in 38 innings -- but it matters not when his team are playing like this.

The sun came out in the evening and England were remorseless. Eoin Morgan clipped his first ball for four before being badly dropped on 17 and on 43.

Meanwhile, Richard Holdsworth has been appointed performance director of Cricket Ireland. The Englishman (42), who has worked with Gloucestershire, the ECB and the ICC, will oversee Ireland's international squads at all age levels.

Ireland have been drawn in the same group as Australia, England and Nepal at next year's U-19 World Cup in Australia. (© Independent News Service)

England v India, Day 3,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 11.0

Irish Independent

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