Sports

Cook’s record double ends Australia’s whitewash hopes

Alastair Cook reeled off a record-breaking double century to put England in full control of the fourth Ashes Test with a formidable 164-run innings lead in Melbourne on Thursday.
The phlegmatic opener emphatically bounced back after a lean run of scores to finish the day unconquered on 244 off 409 balls. At the close, England were 491 for nine.
Along the way, Cook surpassed the highest score by a visiting batsman in a Test match at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, bettering the 208 by West Indian great Viv Richards in 1984.
He earlier bettered Wally Hammond’s 200 set back in 1928 as the highest Test score at the MCG by an Englishman.
Cook’s fifth double-century in 151 Test matches also catapulted him above West Indian Brian Lara to become the sixth highest run-getter in Test cricket with 11,956.
“It’s probably one of the more emotional (ones) from where I’d been on this tour,” Cook admitted.
“It meant a lot last night and then today I was quite proud that I managed to back it up after all the emotion came out yesterday to get a real big one for the team was really important.
“It’s just a shame it’s three or four weeks too late. I’ll have to live with that for a long time, but it’s nice to score a few.”
Australia, who already have won back the Ashes with an unassailable 3-0 lead, looked unable to stem the flow of runs in the final session as Stuart Broad supported Cook to take the game away from the hosts.