Alastair Cook and Nick Compton struck centuries as they committed themselves to righting the wrongs of England’s first-innings batting debacle. But that told only half the story. For Cook, a 24th Test hundred, timed to perfection with the new ball still five overs away, was simply a restatement of his undoubted quality. For Compton, the final stages of a maiden Test hundred possessed all the mental anguish that a first time should.
These were hundreds born of mortification as England, guilt-stricken by a first-innings deficit of 293 and with five-and-a-half sessions to save the game, closed the fourth day only 59 runs behind and with still nine wickets remaining. But if Cook added further lustre to his Test record – one to rival Sachin Tendulkar at the same age – with what has become his customary languorous elegance, Compton scraped through the 90s in more than 12 tension-ridden overs. Read more
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