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Alastair Cook tops the batting charts for England

Skipper Alastair Cook surpasses mentor Graham Gooch to become highest run-scorer for England in Tests but hosts trail by 97 runs on Day Two

London: Alastair Cook became England’s highest-ever run-scorer in Test cricket when he broke the record of batting mentor Graham Gooch during the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley on Saturday.

The 30-year-old left-handed opener started England’s reply to New Zealand’s first innings 350 on Saturday needing just 32 more runs to surpass Gooch’s mark of 8,900 runs in 118 Tests.


Alastair Cook (left) is congratulated by Adam Lyth after the skipper became the highest run-scorer for England at Headingley on Saturday. PIC/Getty Images

Cook, first coached by ex-England captain Gooch as a schoolboy, reached lunch unbeaten on 27. Then, to his 13th ball after lunch Cook passed Gooch — whose runs came in four more Tests (118 to 114) — when he square-drove Tim Southee for four to break a record that had stood for nearly 22 years.

Cook was eventually out
for 75, lbw to off-spinner Mark Craig on the sweep after the tourists overturned Indian umpire S Ravi’s original not out decision to end a first-wicket stand with Adam Lyth worth 177. The skipper batted for nearly four hours and faced 187 balls including 12 fours.

Boult, Southee fire
Trent Boult and Tim Southee led a New Zealand recovery after Lyth scored his maiden Test century. England were cruising on the second day of the second Test while left-handed openers Lyth (107) and Cook were sharing a first-wicket stand of 177. But the departure of Lyth, needlessly run out shortly before the advent of the new ball, sparked a slump that saw four wickets fall late in the day.

At stumps, England were 253 for five in reply to New Zealand’s first innings 350, a deficit of 97 runs. The new ball saw left-armer Boult take two wickets for 10 runs in four overs and Southee one for seven, also in four overs. Lyth was Cook’s sixth opening partner since the retirement of former captain Andrew Strauss.

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