Cook, Trott star for England

2013-05-27 14:27
Alastair Cook (Gallo)

Leeds - England captain Alastair Cook scored his 25th Test hundred as the hosts strengthened their vice-like grip on the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley on Monday.

At lunch on the fourth day, England were 249 for three in their second innings - a lead of 429 runs after left-handed opener Cook had extended his overnight 88 not out to 130.

The most any side has ever made in the fourth innings to win a Test is West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia in Antigua in 2002/03.

And the corresponding record for New Zealand is the 325 for four they posted against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1993/94.

In the first innings of this match New Zealand collapsed to 174 all out - although this was an improvement on the 68 they managed in the second innings of their 170-run loss at Lord's that left them 1-0 down in the two-Test series.

Cook, still only aged 28 and in his 92nd match at this level, extended his England Test century record, with a cover-drive off Tim Southee, his 15th four in 152 balls.

Together with Jonathan Trott, he put on 134 for the second wicket.

Trott, dropped on 40 when he gave a difficult chance to first slip Ross Taylor off a hard-hit reverse sweep against part-time off-spinner Kane Williamson, was 76 not out at lunch.

Williamson did take two wickets in eight balls as Cook got a leading edge to mid-off and Ian Bell holed out on the slog sweep.

First innings century-maker Joe Root was 20 not out on his Yorkshire home ground.

Now it seemed as if only rain, which washed out all of Friday's first day, could spare New Zealand from defeat.

Their cause was not helped Monday when left-arm seamer Trent Boult, who took five first innings wickets, was declared unfit to bowl after aggravating a side strain on Sunday.

Read more on:    england  |  alastair cook  |  cricket

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