Sport 3 Stand­ing ‘O’ from the pav­il­ion

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

LON­DON – Alas­tair Cook, as un­flap­pable as ever, led from the front in the fi­nal in­nings of his record-break­ing Test ca­reer as Eng­land built a com­mand­ing 154-run lead over In­dia at The Oval yes­ter­day.

Prob­a­bly the long­est stand­ing ova­tion heard at the south Lon­don ground wel­comed Cook to the crease for his 291st and last Test knock mid­way through the late-sum­mer af­ter­noon.

Eng­land’s most pro­lific Test run scorer be­gan in nervy fash­ion as In­dia bat­tled hard to stay in con­tention on day three of the fifth and fi­nal match of the se­ries.

But by stumps he was set fair on 46 not out hav­ing rid­den his luck at times in search of a sec­ond half-cen­tury in his 161st Test, hav­ing made a stub­born 71 on Fri­day.

Thirty more runs to­day would take him past Sri Lankan Ku­mar San­gakkara’s 12 400 and into fifth on the all-time list. With Joe Root look­ing flu­ent on 29 and Eng­land hav­ing eight wick­ets in hand Cook has ev­ery chance of sign­ing off his mag­nif­i­cent in­ter­na­tional ca­reer with a vic­tory.

In­dia had mounted a spir­ited fightback ear­lier to limit their first-in­nings deficit to a mod­est 40, thanks to a su­perb 86 by Ravin­dra Jadeja and a de­but half-cen­tury from Hanuma Vi­hari.

Hav­ing be­gun the day in a hole on 174 for six in re­ply to Eng­land’s 332, In­dia were even­tu­ally all out for 292.

In­dia’s re­sis­tance frus­trated James An­der­son’s quest to grab the three wick­ets he needs to over­take Aus­tralia’s Glenn Mcgrath’s all-time Test­wicket record of 563 for a fast bowler.

While all eyes were on Cook it was ar­guably a more im­por­tant af­ter­noon for fel­low opener Keaton Jen­nings and his hopes of ce­ment­ing his fu­ture as an Eng­land opener. Jen­nings scratched around for ten be­fore of­fer­ing no shot to a Mo­hammed Shami de­liv­ery to be clean bowled – ex­tend­ing his run of test in­nings with­out a half-cen­tury to 18.

Once again In­dia’s seam at­tack bowled with men­ace and at one stage de­liv­ered 31 dot balls be­fore Cook broke the siege.

Moeen Ali was for­tu­nate to sur­vive when his at­tempted drive off Ishant Sharma took a thick edge and flew head high to KL Rahul at sec­ond slip but he dropped the chance.

Cook took the lead past 100 but In­dia made a timely break­through as Jadeja tempted Moeen into a drive and bowled him through the gate out of the rough.

ENG­LAND opener Alas­tair Cook get­ting a stand­ing ova­tion as he leaves the pav­il­ion for his fi­nal Test in­nings.

POW POW! Ja­maica Tallawahs bats­man Rov­man Powell hit­ting out dur­ing his un­beaten 55. GE­ORGE­TOWN – West Indies Twenty20 all-rounder Rov­man Powell struck his third half­cen­tury in four in­nings as Ja­maica Tallawahs wrapped up their pre­lim­i­nary round cam­paign in the Caribbean Premier League with a dom­i­nant eight-wicket vic­tory over Guyana Ama­zon War­riors on Satur­day night.

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