Alister Cook’s unbeaten double century has propelled England to a big score of 491 at the loss of 9 wickets at the end of day three of the fourth Ashes test on Thursday.
The former England captain strode off the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 244 not out, the highest ever score by a touring batsman, having pushed his side to a first-innings lead of 164 runs.
Stuart Broad provided gallant support with a swashbuckling 56, sharing a 100-run partnership to crush the spirits of a demoralised Australian attack.The urn may be gone with England an irretrievable 3-0 down in the series, but Joe Root’s team will savour the finest day of their campaign and are well-placed to grab a consolation win.
Cook smashed a straight drive past bowler Jackson Bird for his 23rd four to raise his fifth double-century in 360 balls, triggering a standing ovation from the crowd of 61,839.
It was not a chanceless innings, with Australia captain Steve Smith dropping him on 66 on day two and again on 153 after lunch.
The pitch was a batsman’s paradise and the Australian attack shorn of injured spearhead Mitchell Starc.
But England’s most prolific run-scorer, under fire after an underwhelming series so far, may remember few more gratifying innings in his career of 151 tests.
Broad was brave in support, wearing a short-pitched battering before paying Australia’s quicks back in a swashbuckling innings which included eight fours and a six.
He bookended his fifty with two fours off Pat Cummins before holing out for 56 with a miscued pull that was caught in the deep by a diving Khawaja.
The catch was awarded after lengthy review by the third umpire, even though the ball appeared to have slipped from Khawaja’s grip and brushed the turf as he rolled over.