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Saturday, December 04, 2010

A century to Cook and a century in the shade as England press ahead: T2 D2

England 2/317 (89 ov , A Cook 126*, K Pietersen 85*, J Trott 78) lead Australia 245 by 72 runs with 8 first inns wickets in hand: T2/5 D2/5 at Adelaide Oval.

It was, notwithstanding the false dawn of Andrew Strauss being bowled in the first over, unquestionably England's day.

On a flat track Alistair Cook batted through a day where the temperature reached 38deg C (100 deg F) to reach 136*/246b (17x4). Jonathan Trott rode his luck, notably being dropped in the gully when he was 10, and settled down to add 174 with Cook before he was out for 78/144b (11x4). Kevin Pietersen then played an imperious innings in which he showed that reports of his vulnerability to slow left arm bowling are exaggerated. By stumps he'd made 85*/141b (13x4) of 141 as England continued their march towards victory.

Cook batted extremely well, playing few false strokes (one of which resulted in the umpire's caught behind decision being overturned) and, by my reckoning, missing even fewer balls. He looked especially good square of the wicket on both sides. In short, a class player.

Australia looked pretty ordinary, not least in the field where a couple of chances were put down and a run out missed (from side on, but why wasn't anyone up at the bowler's end stumps to take it?) Of the bowlers Ryan Harris, with his extra pace looked the best, while Xavier Doherty's inexperience was exposed.

Scorecard .

Fox Sports video highlights.

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