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Images: England tighten grip on third Test

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 23:36 IST

Strauss leads the way

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- Scorecard

Alastair Cook was unbeaten on a superb 182 as England tightened their stranglehold over a hapless India in the third Test at Edgbaston on Thursday.

By stumps on the second day, the hosts had established a 232-run lead, with Cook notching his 19th Test century in the process.

 - Has any side drawn a 4-Test series after trailing 0-2

Replying to India's paltry first innings total of 224, England were 456 for three.

Captain Andrew Strauss (87 off 176 balls), Kevin Pietersen (63 off 78), Eoin Morgan (44 batting) and Ian Bell (34 off 43) were the other notable performers on a track that allowed the batsmen to score freely.

Resuming at the overnight score of 84 without loss, Strauss and Cook had earlier in the day batted safely through a rain-shortened morning session -- play began 30 minutes late -- as England gathered 157 without loss by lunch.

Photographs: Getty Images


Image: Andrew Strauss in full flow during the morning session on Day 2
Photographs: Getty Images
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Strauss, Cook make Indian bowlers toil

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With the weather brightening up and 10 wickets remaining, England consolidated their dominant position.

England's first boundary did not arrive until the 15th over of the morning, when Strauss attempted to smash a wider delivery from Ishant Sharma through the covers but got only a thick edge through the gully region and down to third man.

Cook executed a more convincing boundary two balls later off Sharma when he slotted a perfectly-timed drive through extra cover to go to 37. It was Cook's fourth scoring shot only of the day, after an hour.

Two more boundaries through the slips followed in the next two overs from both batsmen.


Image: Andrew Strauss (right) with Alastair Cook

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Cook back in form

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Left-hander Cook reached his half-century five minutes before the interval when he clipped a pitched-up ball from S Sreesanth angled into him through mid-wicket for another four. It was his 130th delivery of the innings.

The opener managed to break his run of poor scores as he scored his first half-century for five innings.

England, who won at Lord's and Trent Bridge, will go to number one in the Test world rankings if they win this match.


Image: Alastair Cook

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Strauss falls

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Leg-spinner Amit Mishra gave India the much-needed breakthrough, claiming the wicket of Andrew Strauss.

Strauss was 84 not out and approaching his first Test century at home in two years while Cook was on 51 at the lunch interval. However, England's captain was dismissed after adding just three runs on resumption, bowled by Amit Mishra, as England lost their first wicket at 186. 

Strauss was looking good for a hundred, but tried to sweep, missed the ball, which brushed his pad and rattled the leg stump.

Television replays later indicated that the delivery was a no-ball.

Strauss scored 87, inclusive of 13 boundaries. His dismissal ended a 186-run stand for the opening wicket for England.


Image: Dhoni celebrates as Strauss is bowled by Mishra (not in pic)

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Dravid lets off Bell

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India could have tasted success soon after the dismissal of Strauss, but Rahul Dravid at first slip put down Ian Bell off the bowling of S Sreesanth.

It was an easy catch, as Dravid appeared to have the edge under control, but the ball ricocheted off the fielder's hands.


Image: Dravid wonders how the catch off Bell popped out of his hands
Photographs: Reuters
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A hundred for Cook

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Cook,  who came into this match with only 20 runs from four innings, got to his hundred with a single off Praveen Kumar. 

It was his 19th Test ton, his second against India. It came off 213 balls, and included 14 fours.

But England's celebrations of the hundred were muted as Bell fell next ball.

It was a fine delivery from Praveen Kumar that seamed away and sent the off-stump flying, as Bell prodded down the wrong line


Image: Cook celebrates after getting to hundred
Photographs: Getty Images
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