England rack up record score
Birmingham - Alastair Cook's 294 enabled England to declare their first innings on 710 for seven, giving them a lead of 486 on the third day of the third test against India at Edgbaston on Friday.
Earlier, Cook's career-best 266 not out and a hundred from Eoin Morgan saw England pile on the agony.
England were a massive 646 for six at tea on the third day for a lead of 422.
That left India already needing to surpass the highest ever fourth innings total to win a Test of 418 for seven made by the West Indies against Australia at St John's Antigua in 2002/03 if they were to pull off a stunning upset.
It all left England superbly placed to go an unbeatable 3-0 up in this four-match series and secure a win that would see them replace India at the top of the ICC's Test Championship table.
Cook has now batted for 11 hours and 43 minutes and in the process become the first England batsman to score 250 in a Test since his mentor Graham Gooch, now England's batting coach, made 333 against India at Lord's in 1990.
Only persevering and skilled medium-pacer Praveen Kumar, one of India's few success stories on an injury-hit tour, maintained a measure of control with two for 92 in another lengthy innings stint of 39 overs.
Cook, 206 not out at lunch, stroked leg-spinner Amit Mishra through the covers for a three that took him past his previous Test best of 235 not out against Australia in Brisbane in November.
Morgan's single off Mishra then saw him to his second Test hundred, off 188 balls with 10 fours, following the former Ireland international's 130 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge last year, in what was his 12th match at this level.
But Morgan, dropped twice off simple chances on Thursday, gave his wicket away soon afterwards when, on 104, he drove loosely at the gentle spin of Suresh Raina and was held in the covers by Virender Sehwag.
His exit ended a fourth-wicket stand of 222 with fellow left-hander Cook and was the start of a spell that saw three wickets lost for 17 runs.
Ravi Bopara, only recalled for this match after Jonathan Trott was ruled out with a shoulder injury, came in with England 596 for four.
In such situations the new batsman can often fall cheaply and so it proved with all-rounder Bopara lbw to Mishra for seven.
But Cook, who went 137 balls between boundaries on Friday, ploughed on to post 250, off 485 deliveries including 28 fours.
Mishra did though 'reduce' England to 613 for six by dismissing Matt Prior with the aid of a fine running catch in the deep by Sachin Tendulkar.
England resumed Friday on 456 for three in reply to India's 224.
Cook was 182 not out and Morgan, dropped twice off easy chances Thursday, 44 not out.
Cook's legside clip for two off fast bowler Shathakumaran Sreesanth then took the Essex batsman to his second Test double century.Scoreboard:
India 1st Innings 224 (MS Dhoni 77; S Broad 4-53, T Bresnan 4-62)
England 1st Innings (overnight: 456-3)
A. Strauss b Mishra 87
A. Cook c Raina b Sharma 294
I. Bell b Kumar 34
K. Pietersen lbw b Kumar 63
E. Morgan c Sehwag b Raina 104
R. Bopara lbw b Mishra 7
M. Prior c Tendulkar b Mishra 5
T. Bresnan not out 53
Extras (b11, lb34, w3, nb15) 63
Total (7 wkts dec, 188.1 overs, 767 mins) 710
Did not bat: S Broad, G Swann, J Anderson
Fall of wickets: 1-186 (Strauss), 2-252 (Bell), 3-374 (Pietersen), 4-596 (Morgan), 5-605 (Bopara), 6-613 (Prior), 7-710 (Cook)
Bowling: Kumar 40-13-98-2 (1w); Sreesanth 36-4-158-0 (4nb); Sharma 37.1-7-159-1 (2w); Mishra 43-2-150-3 (11nb); Raina 28-1-83-1; Tendulkar 4-0-17-0
India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wkt), Amit Mishra, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth
Match position: England lead India by 486 runs
Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Steve Davis (AUS)
TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)