Cook misses triple ton but England sniff win, No. 1 tag

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 12, 2011 18:29 hrs
Cook century puts England in driver's seat

Birmingham: Alastair Cook hit a career-best 294 as a ruthless England buried India under a massive 486-run lead to leave the visitors with a daunting task of saving the third Test and their number one ranking, here Friday.

The 26-year-old Cook anchored the innings brilliantly as he batted for close to two days before the hosts declared their first innings at an imposing 710 for seven at the fag end of the third day.

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In reply, India lost Virender Sehwag yet again for a first ball duck to be struggling at 35 for one, still trailing by 451 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Gautam Gambhir (14) and Rahul Dravid (18) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.

With two days left in the match, Indians will have to bat out of their skin to save the Test on an Edgbaston track which is expected to deteriorate on the last day.

A defeat for India will not only seal the series-win for England the series but also the tag of the number one Test team in the world.

In what was built as a high voltage contest between two top teams, has turned out to be a mismatch of gigantic proportions with India being outplayed in every department of the game right through the series so far.

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The highlight of the day was Cook's splendid batting as the left-hander batted for 767 minutes and grinded the Indian attack down for 545 balls, hitting 33 fours.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra was the most successful bowler for India with three wickets but he gave away 150 runs.

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