Alastair Cook hits magnificent double century as England take control of the Fourth Test in Melbourne

ALASTAIR COOK extended his comeback innings in the Fourth Test to an incredible, fairytale double century.

Cook went past 200 for the fifth time in his England career in a master class of concentration, discipline, determination and also splendid strokeplay.

He reached the milestone with a superb straight drive for four off Jackson Bird.

Cook made the highest score ever by a visiting batsman a the MCG – going past the 208 recorded by the great Viv Richards.

Stuart Broad was at the other end when Cook passed his double century and he appeared almost more excited than the understated Cook.

Broad helped Cook in a century stand for the ninth wicket that extended England's lead way beyond 100 and appeared to sap the spirit from the Australia.

It was almost difficult to comprehend that Australia are the team leading 3-0 in the series.

Cook's top score in the opening three Tests was just 37 and he admitted that he was close to entering the last chance saloon.

But, almost from the moment he faced his first ball, Cook was more assertive and showing better footwork.

Australia's attack might have been depleted and the pitch more benign than earlier in the series but it was still a momentous innings.

England resumed with 192-2 and Joe Root reached a half-century but then pulled a short ball straight to deep square leg.

Once more, Root had failed to convert a fifty into three figures and he was furious.

Dawid Malan was given out lbw but TV replays showed he nicked the ball onto his pads and, like James Vince on day two, he did not ask for a review.

Jonny Bairstow was caught behind trying to cut Nathan Lyon and then Moeen Ali, after a frisky and frenetic innings, was caught a cover.

At that point, England were still 20 runs behind Australia's first innings total of 327.

But Chris Woakes helped Cook put on 59 before he gloved a short ball. Tom Curran nicked off but the match was transformed strongly in England's favour by the stand between Cook and Broad.

As usual, Broad was peppered by bouncers early in his innings but he survived and gradually started playing his shots.

He hoised Lyon over long-on for six and reached his fifty when he nailed a short ball from Pat Cummings and it screamed to the boundary.

Broad was caught at third man for 56 when the umpires decided Usman Khawaja held on to the ball after it initially escaped his grasp.” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter

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