Captain Alastair Cook fell short of his third double-century by ten runs as England ground their way to a match-controlling lead of 193 runs over India on the end of third day of the third Test at Eden Gardens.
Cook (190) laid the painstaking foundation in a stand of 173 with Jonathan Trott (87) for England to try to push for victory and establish a 2-1 series lead over the final two days.
But after Cook was run out in bizarre circumstances, Kevin Pietersen fell for 54 before he could provide the necessary acceleration to put India under optimum pressure.
It therefore fell to others to chip England towards a stumps total of 509 for six in reply to 316 all out on a pitch just beginning to show signs of wear, with variable bounce and sharper turn offering second-innings promise to bowlers of all persuasions.
The England skipper's eight-hour epic was finally ended not by a bowler but a fielder, when Virat Kohli arrowed in a direct-hit throw from midwicket to run him out backing up.
Cook's 377-ball stay, encapsulating of course his record-breaking 23rd English Test century, had still outlasted an equally unhurried Trott.
The second-wicket pair continued remorselessly this morning, although Cook needed one significant piece of good fortune on 156 when Ishant Sharma put down a straightforward return catch.
Thanks largely to Cook's 23 fours and two sixes, England were in any case already handily in credit with power to add.
In Matt Prior and Graeme Swann, though, England still had the right men for the occasion to bolster the lead to 193 by the close.
On yet another frustrating day for Indian bowlers, Pragyan Ojha was the leading wicket-taker with his 3/140, while Ishant Sharma and Ashwin managed a wicket each as Zaheer Khan bowled 29 wicketless overs. (ANI)