England in Control as Cook scores another century in the Ashes series

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Robin Soderling

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  • England in Control as Cook scores another century in the Ashes series

England in control after Cook scores another century in the Ashes series

England is in complete control of the Sydney Test as Alastair Cook again scored a brilliant century to give England a good lead in their innings. England started their first innings in a commanding fashion and managed to make 98 runs for the first wicket.

The pitch eased out a bit on the second day and it was becoming easy for the batsmen to bat on. Andrew Strauss batted well for his 60 and again showed a lot of dominance in his batting. It has been observed throughout the series that English skipper has been quite successful in providing a solid start to the English innings and most of the times he has been quite effective in sidelining the Aussie attack in the initial over’s.

The second day was no different as Strauss managed to score 60 runs of just 58 balls and played with an intention of taking the game away from the Aussies from the start. Strauss batted in an attacking mode and punished the opening Aussie bowlers. Australia had the first success of the day when Strauss got bowled out of the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus. Australia were again celebrating, when Johnson bowled Jonathan Trott for a duck. It was a good delivery from Johnson, as the ball swung a lot and Trott managed to get an inside edge of it onto his stumps.

Suddenly, England had lost two quick wickets and it was up to their top batsmen to score some important runs for the English side. Alastair Cook again showed his class and batted in his routine style to score some important runs for his side. He again showed a lot of consistency in his batting and played some impressive shots. He was well supported by Pietersen, who batted well for his 36 and played in his natural style. Pietersen was much more confident in this innings and showed great intent to play a long innings for his side.

Pietersen struck 4 boundaries in his innings, which also included two boundaries off the debutant Michael Beer. But again, when it came to the consistency factor in batting, Pietersen again failed to match the brilliance of Cook and got out at the score of 36. Pietersen lost his wicket when he hooked a high bouncer from Johnson and got caught in the backward square region by Michael Beer.

 This was not something England would have required at that stage as the day was about to end and England would have been much happier if they had ended the day with just 2 wickets down. The good thing for England was the presence of Cook at the crease as he was still not out on 61.

England started the 3rd day from their overnight score and looked confident to take a vital lead in their first innings. James Anderson did not last long and got out after scoring 7 runs for his side. It was a good ball from Siddle as the ball was pitched on the off stump line and managed to hit the off stump. Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood were successful in providing a 45 run partnership for the 5th wicket but failed to carry it forward in the three figures.

 Paul Collingwood, who has struggled throughout the series, managed to score 13 runs in his innings but he was quite tentative in his approach and struggled to face the Aussie bowlers in a confident manner. Collingwood was successful in giving Michael Beer his first wicket of the match, when he drove a ball from Beer which ended up in getting caught at mid on region.

At that stage, England were reduced to 226-5, and they still had to cover a deficit of 54 more runs in order to give some lead to the Aussies. But again, it was Alastair Cook who took the Aussie attack on and punished the bowlers to a great extent. Both Bell and Cook helped England in getting their total past the Aussie first innings total and contributed a valuable 174 run partnership for the 6th wicket. Cook played exceptionally well for his 189 and played all the Australian bowlers with ease.

It was Cook’s third century in the series and it again highlighted his form with the bat. Cook did have some nervy moments in his innings but he was brave enough of not to get carried away by these moments and carried on with his good batting form. He drove the Australian bowlers well and did not give them any weakness in his batting. He played Johnson’s bowling with ease and scored 50 runs of his bowling.

 He was well supported by Bell who showed an excellent technique in his batting and helped England in managing a reasonable lead. Cook was dismissed for 189 by Watson, but it came too late for Australia as he again proved to be the main thorn for Australia with his batting. England are still going strong in their first innings as Bell and Prior are in pursuit of pushing the English lead into a competitive position.



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