Cook 95 and Ballance century put England in control

SOUTHAMPTON, England, (Reuters) – Under-fire captain Alastair Cook at last found his form but fell for 95 as he and century-maker Gary Ballance put England in control at the end of the first day of the third test against India yesterday.

Ballance was unbeaten on 104, which included 15 fours, and beleaguered captain Cook silenced his critics for now with a battling innings as England reached an imposing 247-2 at the close.

Ian Bell (16) and Ballance safely negotiated the new ball to ensure both will resume today.

Cook, in dreadful recent form which has led to calls from former England captains Michael Vaughan, Geoffrey Boycott, Mike Atherton and Kevin Pietersen for him to resign the captaincy, had a huge slice of luck on 15 when he was dropped by Ravindra Jadeja at slip.

He survived to add 158 with Ballance, who joined an elite group of players with his third century in five tests for England.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook

Cook batted with few alarms and was looking good for his 26th test century, when he feathered a faint edge down the leg side off Jadeja and was caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.

He did however reach a personal landmark as he overtook David Gower and moved into third place in the list of England’s all-time leading test run scorers, on 8,257. Graham Gooch leads the list with 8,900 from Alec Stewart on 8,463.

Cook made the brave call to bat after winning the toss and despite a hint of movement for the seamers, they lost only Sam Robson for 26 to Mohammed Shami before lunch.The afternoon session belonged to England, although India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar and debutant Pankaj Singh began to find their length with much greater consistency.

Ballance survived a close caught behind call and several deliveries whistled just past the outside edge, before he and Cook reached tea with an unbroken partnership of 131.

Ballance had upped the scoring rate and he reached his century with a perfectly-timed boundary.

He was well backed by Bell, who himself was fortunate to still be there at the close following a close leg before shout off Singh.

India, who lead the five-match series 1-0, made two changes from their victory at Lord’s as Singh replaced the injured Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma came in for Stuart Binny.

England themselves opted for three changes as Jos Buttler took the place of Matt Prior, Chris Jordan replaced Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes was preferred to Liam Plunkett.

Scoreboard

England won the toss

England first innings

A.Cook c Dhoni b Jadeja                       95

S.Robson c Jadeja b Shami                   26

G.Ballance not out                                 104

I.Bell not out                                               16

Extras (1b 5lb)                                              6

TOTAL (for two wickets, 90 overs)   247

Fall: 1-55 2-213

To bat: J.Root, M.Ali, J.Buttler, C.Woakes, C.Jordan, S.Broad, J.Anderson

Bowling

B Khumar 22-7-58-0, M Shami 18-3-62-1, P Singh 20-3-62-0, R Sharma 6-0-21-0, R Jadeja 22-6-34-1, S Dhawan 2-0-4-0

 

 

Latest in Sports

Off-spinner Sunil Narine (left) will be a key member of the West Indies attack.

Confident Windies seek happy ending

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies will seek to write a happy ending to a promising Tri-Nations campaign when they clash with Australia in today’s final, in a contest that brings together the champions of the Twenty20 and 50-overs World Cups.

GABF President Nigel Hinds (sitting centre) displaying an official team jersey in the presence of Director of Sport Christopher Jones (2nd from left sitting) while members of the Guyana Boys and Girls u16 squads and management staff look on

GABF unveils teams for CBC c/ships

The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) officially unveiled yesterday the Boys and Girls u16 teams that will be representing the nation at the upcoming Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championship on local shores.

default placeholder

Jeffrey crowned Time Trial champion for a third time

Add another National Time-Trial title to Raynauth Jeffrey’s collection. Yesterday, the 22-year old star cyclist put on an epic display of racing against the clock and the inclement weather to earn the title of National Senior Time Trial champion for the third time.

Darren Bravo is one of only two West Indian batsmen to score a century in the current Ballr Tri Series One Day tournament.

Bravo! West Indies never-say-die

For Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel playing in only his second One Day International it was ‘D’ Day at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Friday as West Indies took on South Africa to secure a place in the final of the Bellr Tri-Nation tournament where they will face world champions Australia today.

default placeholder

Mixed fortunes for Floodlights

Floodlights softball cricket team endured mixed fortunes last Sunday when the Wolf’s Challenge Cup softball cricket tournament continued at various ground in Georgetown.

Old Fort’s Aderemi Simon unleashing a powerful shot which was denied by GCC’s Stephen Xavier (behind the goalkeeper) during their matchup at the National Gymnasium.

Old Fort, Pit Bulls secure hard-fought wins

Old Fort and Pit Bulls secured the hard-fought wins over Saints and Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) respectively when the Lucozade Indoor Hockey League continued on Friday at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.

Domini Alleyne

Mr. Guyana bodybuilding c/ships set for July 10

Fitness fans get ready, the highly anticipated Mr. Guyana Bodybuilding and Fitness Show will be staged on July 10 at the National Cultural Centre.

default placeholder

Pollard praised as leader, match-winner

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Darren Bravo has hailed Kieron Pollard as a “game winner” and a “leader” and said his presence in the West Indies camp has been invaluable.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: