Search

The Ashes: Cook century lifts England

PUBLISHED: 08:54 27 December 2017

England's Alastair Cook celebrates his century at the MCG (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

England's Alastair Cook celebrates his century at the MCG (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Alastair Cook completed his century in the last over at the MCG as he and Stuart Broad belatedly kickstarted their Ashes campaigns to put Australia under pressure at last.

England's Alastair Cook plays a shot as Tim Paine looks on during day two of the Ashes Test at the MCG (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)England's Alastair Cook plays a shot as Tim Paine looks on during day two of the Ashes Test at the MCG (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

Broad came into this fourth Test with just five wickets in the series, amid calls from some to leave him out as England sought to avoid a 5-0 whitewash, while all-time national record runscorer Cook had failed to muster a half-century in his six innings Down Under.

Mixed feelings therefore inevitably prevailed as, with the urn already gone, Broad burst into life first with 4-51 as Australia lost their last seven wickets for 67 to be bowled out for 327, and then Cook (104 not out) steered England to 192-2 alongside Joe Root (49 not out) on day two.

The opener was posting his 32nd Test hundred, having failed to pass even 50 in any of his last 11 attempts dating back to his 243 against West Indies in England’s inaugural pink-ball match at Edgbaston more than four months ago.

Tom Curran had got England up and running in the morning session when, after a third-umpire no-ball call had chalked off David Warner as his maiden Test wicket the previous day, he bagged an even bigger fish in Steve Smith (76).

England's Stuart Broad walks off after his four-wicket haul at the MCG (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)England's Stuart Broad walks off after his four-wicket haul at the MCG (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

The prolific Australia captain had added only 11 to his overnight score, and his stand with Shaun Marsh (61) moved to exactly 100, when he fell to the first of three drag-ons as the hosts found trouble on this slow pitch.

Smith was trying to carve off-side runs but managed only to chop the ball back down on to his stumps, and it was not long before Mitch Marsh fell in almost identical circumstances to Chris Woakes.

Broad, so close to seeing off the elder Marsh for a first-ball duck on day one finally did so, again in an uncanny near repeat when he overturned an initial not-out verdict for lbw.

That was the first of five wickets which would fall for 13 runs as Australia, without the injured Mitchell Starc here to bolster their tail, proved vulnerable after all.

Old stagers Broad and James Anderson (3-61) took advantage, Tim Paine edging an attempted pull down on to his stumps off the latter and Josh Hazlewood last man standing as three other tailenders amounted to very little.

England had given themselves similar opportunities at various stages of the first three Tests, but never managed to capitalise.

This time, Cook ensured the foothold was secured.

He lost his opening partner Mark Stoneman to a leading edge and one-handed return catch by Nathan Lyon, and James Vince did not appear to feel a thin inside-edge which was picked up by Hotspot and would have overturned his lbw dismissal to Hazlewood.

Cook rarely looked likely to pass up his chance once set, although he did have a moment of fortune when Smith dropped him at slip on 66 off Mitch Marsh.

Becalmed, he nonetheless moved above former Australia captain Allan Border up to ninth in the all-time global list of Test runscorers and then, just before the close, pulled part-time leg-spinner Smith for his 15th four from 164 balls to reach three figures.

By then, he had acquired the assistance of Root in an unbroken century stand which put England in position to push for an elusive first-innings lead if they can only sustain this much-improved performance.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

A dominant second-half ensured Saracens’ incredible season rumbles on as they destroyed Cardiff Blues in a 51-25 success.

Yesterday, 18:53

Hendon fell to a fourth away defeat in their last five matches on the road after another disappointing display saw them beaten by two Basingstoke Town goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Premier League: Leicester City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Unai Emery has been speaking after Arsenal’s late 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Emirates. Read on for what he said about matchwinner Lucas Torreira as the Gunners made it 21 games unbeaten.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arsenal hosted Huddersfield Town at the Emirates on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arsenal hosted Huddersfield Town at the Emirates on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Argentine defender has recently forced his way into Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI

Friday, December 7, 2018

England fly-half was rested for last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership success at home to Wasps

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now