Cook pulls England to 211/2, extend lead to 260 runs

England captain Alastair Cook

England captain Alastair Cook slammed his 30th century (106 batting) to pull England to 211/2, extending their overall lead to 260 runs, at lunch on the fifth and final day of the first Test match against India here on Sunday.

It was Cook’s fifth century in India, that put the visitors in a commanding position.

He was accompanied by Ben Stoles (six batting) at the crease at lunch at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra (2/38) got both the England wickets to fall.

Opener Haseeb Hameed (82) and No.3 batsman Joe Root (four) were dismised in the first session of play.

Mishra first dismissed the teenaged Hameed caught and bowled before foxing Root to a slog-swept that landed in wicket-keeper Wriddihiman Saha’s hands.

England lost the two wickets in quick succession but with Cook holding fort at one end and driving them forward, India could not do much damage.

England began the day at 114/0, an overall lead of 163, with Cook unbeaten on 46 and Hameed not out on 62.

They continued their solid opening wicket partnership and stretched their association to 180, denying India any chance of quick breakthroughs to get back into the match.

They added 97 runs in the first session and lost both the wickets in similar fashion, slog sweeps in search for quick runs, to set up their declaration.

Having consolidated their position further the Cook-Hameed partnership upped their ante to score quickly.

Hameed departed after scoring a fine knock and incoming Root also tried to do the same but lasted only briefly.

It did not stop Cook from accomplishing another fine hundred againt India in India and they now would be looking to increase the run-rate before declaring to set India under pressure.