Cook knocking off records as England prosper

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DESPITE having his bid for a double century ended by a bizarre run out, nothing could dampen Alastair Cook’s joy at England taking a firm grip on the Second Test in Kolkata.

Cook, having reached 190, was run out when taking evasive action against a throw from Virat Kohli which hit the stumps. But the England captain (whose knock was the second highest ever at Eden Gardens after Rohan Kanhai’s 256 in 1958), had helped lead his side into the ascendancy.

They closed the third day on 509-6, a lead of 193.

Resuming on 216-1, exactly 100 behind, Cook and Jonathan Trott extended their partnership to 173 which is only the third time England have had partnerships topping 150 for both the first and second wickets. Cook and Nick Compton had put on 165.

Trott, whose 87 was a welcome return to form, was out on 338 and although Ian Bell made only five, Kevin Pietersen’s 54 prevented India having too much joy.

Samit Patel seemed set for a half-century but fell for 33, one of Ohja’s three victims.

An unbroken seventh wicket stand of 56 between Matt Prior, 40no, and Graeme Swann, 21no, ensured England maintained a firm grip on proceedings.

Cook’s aggregate of 547 runs so far is the third-highest for England in a series in India after Ken Barrington (594) and Mike Gatting (575).

Cook has now scored 1,234 runs so far this year. Only Australian captain Michael Clarke, with 1,358 runs, has scored more in 2012. Cook is also one of only four players to score four centuries in the year so far.