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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Alastair Cook's double century puts England in control of fourth Test

England 11-10 to for victory

Alastair Cook hit the highest score by a visiting batsman at the MCG
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Day four
BT Sport 1, 11.30pm Thursday

England are 11-10 to win the fourth Ashes Test after Alastair Cook's unbeaten double century put the tourists in control in Melbourne.

Resuming on 192-2, England finished day four on 491-9 - a lead of 164 runs.

At 307-6, the tourists were in danger of subsiding as they have done throughout the series but the obdurate Cook was ably supported at the other end, adding a half-century partnership with Chris Woakes before a 100-run ninth-wicket stand with the swashbuckling Stuart Broad, who thrashed eight fours and a six in his innings of 56.

Cook's knock of 244 not out is the highest by a visiting batsman at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, surpassing the 208 made by the legendary Viv Richards.

England captain is unlikely to declare overnight so Cook's vigil will continue alongside James Anderson on day four in the hope of surpassing 500 before making inroads into the Australian top order.

A sizeable deficit won't alter the way opener David Warner plays and after a century in the first innings he is likely to come out purposefully in his second dig.

His record at the MCG isn't as prolific as elsewhere in Australia but on a slow pitch he is sure to take the fight back to England. Backing Warner to top the Aussie runscoring charts for a second time in the match could pay dividends.

D Warner top Australia second-innings runscorer
1pt 7-2 bet365

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Cook's knock of 244 not out is the highest by a visiting batsman at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
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