Ashes 2017 Fourth Test Day 3 : England stay strong with Cook's fifth double hundred

Alastair Cook is unbeaten on 244 at the end of day 3

Alastair Cook batted the entire third day at MCG

The third day in the Boxing day test in Ashes started with Solid Alastair Cook and Joe Root on the crease with England's scoring 192 for 2 at the end of day 2. They were hoping to give Australia a good lead and were really happy with the way they have played till.

Alastair Cook was looking more promising after every ball he played with Joe Root also hitting his half-century, the score went to increase gradually. There was a pretty even and balanced contest in the morning session as Australia's bowler right back in the game with Cummins taking Joe Root's wicket at 61 and it was yet another fifty that was not converted to a hundred by the Captain. The second new ball got Malan's wicket with Cook batting strong the contest between bat and ball continued for the second session. England was still in a good position but this is a phase where they have been vulnerable earlier in the series.

At the time of lunch, the score was 264 for 4 with 72 runs scored in the first session with falling two wickets of the visitors.

The start of the second session witnessed Bairstow's wicket with Moeen Ali joining in the openers. Where it was so important for left-hand batsmen to score runs he again failed miserably to perform and he went back on 20 with Cook cruising towards 150.Alastair Cook was looking more comfortable than ever and batting like this he had put all his hater's mouth to shut with record-breaking innings England ship was sailing on top.

Another session was been shared. England did lose a couple of wickets in the first hour itself but Woakes ensured that he held one end tight with Cook anyway looking good enough. The latter brought his 150 and looked set for a big one. England was in the lead now and it had frustrated the Australian's enough with falling face expression of Smith, the Australian team needs to take Alastair Cook's wicket.

Chris Woakes had to walk back just after the tea session on Pat Cummins delivery in came Stuart Broad to help the opening batsman to jot down runs for their team. Broad was full mood today striking the ball over boundaries and was playing at a rate of 90 plus.Cook was grinding out the bowlers and slowly building the score with Woakes, reminds us of Smith and Cummins partnership in the 1st test. Gradually the scoreboard started to increase with more ease with Alastair Cook's fifth Double hundred century they had registered the highest 8th wicket stand for England at the MCG! But unfortunately, Pat Cummins broke the 100 run stand between both after taking Broad's wickets at 56 which highest by an England player at number 10.

At the end of day's play, Cook was unbeaten on 244 with cruising towards his highest test score he had batted for the entire day with Day 4 yet to come with more intense cricket and Australia's reply to their 164 runs lead till now. Bowlers were like to take Anderson down quickly tomorrow.

Brief ScoresEngland 9 for 491 (Cook 244*, Root 61, Broad 56, Hazlewood 3-95) lead Australia 327 by 164 runs.

By Kunal Kataria - 28 Dec, 2017

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