Cook century sets India 310 in 49 overs

India 488 and 0 for 0 need 310 to beat England 537 and 260 for 3 dec (Cook 130, Hameed 82)
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England scored a quick 49 runs in 9.3 overs to set India 310 to get in 49 overs. Cook added a further 24 to his century, becoming the fourth visiting batsman to reach 1000 runs in India. Ben Stokes and Cook batted selflessly in that period of play, not looking to remain unbeaten. Cook fell attempting quick runs, caught at long-off, giving R Ashwin his first wicket in 61 overs. That also brought about the declaration.

England 537 and 211 for 2 (Cook 106*, Stokes 6*) lead India 488 by 260 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Alastair Cook brought up his 30th Test century in the first session on the fifth day © Associated Press

Alastair Cook got to his fifth century in India, the most by any visiting batsman, but there was heartbreak in how 19-year-old debutant Haseeb Hameed fell 18 runs short of what would have been an emotional century. India would largely be satisfied with the first session of the final day as they conceded runs at just three and over, making sure they didn’t have more than two sessions to bat out for a draw. If England were to declare during the lunch break they would leave India 261 to get in 61 overs at well over four an over. A declaration after the interval would cost them two overs for the changeover.

England didn’t show any particular rush to possibly give themselves more than two sessions to bowl India out, but they did grind India’s bowlers out further. R Ashwin, for example, had now bowled 56.3 overs without a wicket, taking his overall average against England to 55.47. There was moral victory in that Ashwin was forced to change his action, going more side-on, rocking more on the right foot, in order to get more pace and rip into the deliveries. Showing he is not afraid of changing things for success, Ashwin also did his job on the morning, conceding only 17 runs in nine overs, thus not letting score England free runs that could bring in an early declaration.

Ashwin kept landing the ball in the rough patches, drawing big turn, but the problem for the bowlers was that there wasn’t much alarming turn from the middle of the pitch, which really concerns the batsmen. While the bowlers bowling to their plans would have pleased India captain Virat Kohli, the fielding continued to frustrate him. He placed two men in the third man region and a man at gully to keep Cook from getting the boundary from his cut, but Amit Mishra and Mohammed Shami were found wanting. After the drinks break, Kohli had to send Ajinkya Rahane back there.

Not that it stopped Cook from getting runs as he overtook his younger opening partner Hameed on the final morning. Hameed found himself bogged down by the disciplined bowling, adding just 20 off 61 to his overnight 62, but he did register the highest score by an England teenager and batted long enough to become part of the biggest opening partnership for England in India. Cook showed more enterprise, looking to sweep the spinners and cut the quicks. The odd punch through the covers was thrown in.

There was intent towards the end of the session. Hameed looked to slog-sweep Ashwin and was eventually out playing a forceful shot from well outside off, and Joe Root fell on the slog sweep. Ben Stokes was promoted too. The wickets both went to Mishra who was dangerously close to overstepping on both occasions.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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