12/28/2017 10:34:37 AM

Cook's record double ton puts England in control

Cook

Melbourne: Alastair Cook reeled off a record-breaking double century to put England in full command of the fourth Ashes Test with a formidable 164-run innings lead in Melbourne on Thursday.

The stoic opener emphatically bounced back after a lean run of scores to finish the day unconquered on 244 off 409 balls.

At close, England were 491 for nine.

Along the way, Cook surpassed the highest score by a visiting batsman in a Test match at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, bettering the 208 by West Indian great Viv Richards in 1984. 

He earlier bettered Wally Hammond's 200 set back in 1928 as the highest Test score at the MCG by an Englishman. 

Cook's fifth double-century in 151 Test matches also catapulted him above West Indian Brian Lara to become the sixth highest run-getter in Test cricket with 11,956.

Australia, who already have won back the Ashes with an unassailable 3-0 lead, looked unable to stop the  flow of runs in the final session as Stuart Broad supported Cook to take the game away from the hosts.

Broad, who survived a series of hair-raising short-pitched balls, thrived in his partnership with Cook, pushing the tourists beyond 450 on a lifeless pitch.

It needed multiple replays before Broad was finally given out for 56 off 63 balls to a diving outfield catch by Usman Khawaja off Pat Cummins, ending a demoralising 100-run stand off 110 balls with Cook.

Cook cashed in on two dropped catches by Australia skipper Steve Smith along the way to continue the misery for the home side.

Smith, who dropped Cook on 66 in the slips on Wednesday, put down the former England skipper for the second time on 153 in a sharp right-handed chance at square leg.

England lost two wickets in the middle session with Jonny Bairstow caught behind off Lyon for 22 and Moeen Ali lashing out for 20 off 14 balls.

It was the sixth time in seven innings in the series that Moeen had been dismissed by fellow off-spinner Lyon.

 

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