Captain plays third longest-ever Test knock as visiting side reaches 569 for 8 against Pakistan on day four of first Test
Alastair Cook hit a monumental 263 while playing the third longest innings in Test history as England secured a 46-run lead over Pakistan on the fourth day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
Cook batted for 836 minutes in all during his innings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium as England ended Friday’s (October 16) play on 569 for 8. Cook had come in to bat in the last hour’s play on Wednesday, after Pakistan had piled up 523 for 8 declared.
Cook’s innings only stands behind Hanif Mohammad’s epic 337 that spanned 970 minutes for Pakistan against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1958, and South African Gary Kirsten's 878-minute knock during his 275 against England at Durban in 1999.
His 528-ball marathon finally ended when he played a sweep off Shoaib Malik, who himself had made 245 in Pakistan’s innings, and was caught at backward square-leg by Shan Masood.
Cook had resumed on 168 with England 290 for 3, and battled the hot conditions as well as Pakistan’s attack to ensure England was safe after the large total the home side had racked up. He first added 141 for the fourth wicket with Joe Root, who made 85, and another 91 with Ben Stokes (57) for the sixth wicket. Stokes fell after England was in the lead, with the score on 534.
In between, Cook lost Jonny Bairstow, who fell leg-before for 8 to become Wahab Riaz’s third victim. Wahab had 3 for 116, the best figures for Pakistan, while Malik took 2 for 97.
This was the third double century of Cook’s career. He flicked Wahab to backward square-leg for a couple to raise the landmark off 395 balls. He reached 250 – only the second time he has gone past that mark – after tea with a single off Zulfiqar Babar.
Cook fell with the score on 549, missing out on a chance to hit a first triple, and his highest remains the 294 he hit against India in Birmingham in August 2011.
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