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Wednesday 17
January

Cricket

Cook stars as England hit back

13th January 2018, 15:01 by Jack Ogalbe

Alastair Cook scored an unbeaten century as England ended day two of the fourth Ashes Test on 192-2.

Playing in his 151st Test, the 33-year-old showed his best form of the series, reaching his hundred in the final over on what was a good day for Trevor Bayliss' men.

Australia resumed on 244-3 at the MCG and, with Steve Smith on 65, appeared set to dominate once again.

Things did not go to plan for the hosts, however, with Smith going for 76 to give Tom Curran his maiden Test wicket, as Stuart Broad led the way with 4-51 to restrict the Aussies to 327.

England's reply got off to a shaky start as Mark Stoneman (15) and James Vince (17) fell early but despite a scare when he was dropped by Smith on 66, Cook remained a constant at the crease, recording his first century of the series.

Captain Joe Root chipped in with a handy 49 and will resume alongside the veteran on day three with England 192-2, a deficit of 135 runs.

Wednesday's performance was arguably the tourists' best of the tour and former skipper Michael Vaughan admitted he had been impressed by what he saw, although he concedes the trick is now to follow it up on Thursday.

Vaughan told the BBC: "It has been a tough tour for the senior pros but for the first time the experienced batsmen have been at the crease for a few hours.

"Throughout the whole day Cook had a mindset of challenging the bowler. The pitch played beautifully in the afternoon session.

"England are in a fantastic position and have won day two convincingly. Can they win day three?

"From what I have seen from this Australia attack and the pitch, England should have plenty to see the day out and get in front but we can't get ahead of ourselves with this England side."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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