Cook joins select company

2010-11-29 07:35
Alastair Cook (AP)

Brisbane - Alastair Cook became only the fourth Englishman to score a Test double-century in Australia as the first Ashes Test looked headed for a draw on the final day at the Gabba on Monday.

Cook joined Wally Hammond (3), Reg Foster and Paul Collingwood as double centurions with his resilient knock to all but ensure the Ashes holders would avoid defeat in the first Test.

At lunch, England were 439 for one with Cook unconquered on 201 and Trott not out 100 to lead by 218 runs with two sessions left.

Records and personal bests kept tumbling throughout the morning session as Cook and Trott combined in a ground record partnership.

When Trott's 100 came up it was the first time three English players have scored a century in the second innings of a Test match since 1924.

On that occasion the top three batsmen -- Jack Hobbs (211), Herbert Sutcliffe (122) and Frank Woolley (134 no) -- all scored hundreds against South Africa at Lord's.

Cook surpassed his previous highest Test score of 173 and shared in the highest English stand (251) for any wicket in 19 Tests at the Gabba as the tourists revelled before their jubilant Barmy Army fans.

Cook also passed Ian Botham's 138 as the highest English run scorer at the Brisbane ground, set back in 1986.

It was also Trott's fourth Test century and his second against Australia.

Cook and Trott progressed trouble-free before a small last-day crowd dominated by England's taunting Barmy Army fans.

England went into the final day leading by 88 runs and needing to avoid a dramatic innings collapse to enable Australia to chase a victory target.

It was the second ground-record partnership for the tourists in the Ashes opener.

Opening pair Andrew Strauss and Cook combined for the highest English partnership for any wicket at the Gabba of 188 runs, eclipsing the previous best of 160 between Graeme Hick and Graham Thorpe in 1994.

Australia's bowlers toiled away with no reward and facing the prospect of a long draining day in the field.

Australia's heads dropped further when vice-captain Michael Clarke put down a regulation chance off Trott (75) at slip off Shane Watson's bowling.

It was the fourth Australian dropped catch and the second in the innings by the normally reliable Clarke, who has been struggling with a back injury.

Read more on:    ashes  |  alastair cook  |  paul collingwood

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