Alastair Cook reached 206 not out at lunch yesterday on the third day of the third Test as England moved to 503-3 to extend their lead over India to 279 runs at Edgbaston.
Cook hit 27 fours from 394 balls in a typically solid and undemonstrative innings to notch his second Test double-century.
Eoin Morgan was 66 not out when an early lunch was called because of rain. He hit eight boundaries in 121 balls.
The morning session had already been interrupted by a 26-minute rain delay when the players were again forced off.
England began the day on 456-2, leading by 232, a position so dominant that the main interest in a session largely devoid of tension lay in seeing how many landmarks the hosts would pass.
Morgan reached 50 from 73 balls with a single from Praveen Kumar before rain caused a delay.
When play resumed, a single to Cook from Ishant Sharma brought up England’s ninth century stand of the series. Cook reached his 200 from 378 balls with a glance through square-leg of Sreesanth for two, then took England to 500 with a single from Sreesanth to point.
Neither batsman appeared under any pressure and with eight sessions remaining the only pressing question is how long England bat before declaring.
ZIMBABWE IN LEAD
Brian Vitori took five wickets on debut yesterday as Zimbabwe bowled out Bangladesh for 184 runs in the first one-day international match at Harare Sports Club.
The 21-year-old swing bowler, who also took five wickets on Test debut in the 130-run win over the same opponents, finished with 5-30 to become the first Zimbabwe player to claim a five-wicket haul in his first ODI.
He removed Tamim Iqbal (4), Shahriah Nafees (14), Mohammad Ashraful (2), Imrul Kayes (11) and Shafiul Islam (8).
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiquir Rahim was the top scorer for Bangladesh with 59, smashing five boundaries in 91 balls. Shakib al-Hasan made 53 from 63 deliveries.
Vitori bowled at lively pace and swung the ball sharply on a flat pitch. He removed Iqbal in the sixth over when the Bangladesh opener mistimed a pull shot for Elton Chigumbura to take a running catch at mid-on.
He then bowled Nafees with a full delivery, before Ashraful was caught on 2 by Chris Mpofu in the deep off a short delivery, while Kayes was trapped LBW. Vitori later returned to remove Islam for his fifth wicket.
Mahmudullah was caught by Hamilton Masakadza in the gully for 5 off Elton Chigumbura’s straight delivery. Al-Hasan and Rahim rescued Bangladesh with a 105-run stand off 139 balls.
Rahim was eventually caught by Masakadza at long-off from off-spinner Prosper Utseya, his 100th wicket in ODI cricket.
Shakib was lucky to survive on 17 when wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu missed stumping off Utseya, but he was dismissed after hitting straight to Utseya at midwicket off part-timer Masakadza.
Chigumbura and Price also took a wicket each.