England's Cook eyeing dream farewell in final Test
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England's Cook eyeing dream farewell in final Test

Alastair Cook can dream of a 33rd Test century in the final innings of his record-breaking career after guiding England to stumps on day three against India at The Oval.

Cook was unbeaten on 46 in a total of 2-114 as England extended their overall lead to 154 runs after bowling India out for 292 on Sunday.

Finale: England's Alastair Cook during his last ever batting innings before retiring.

Finale: England's Alastair Cook during his last ever batting innings before retiring.Credit:AP

Home advantage on day three would have been more substantial without the revival engineered by India's charismatic all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (86 not out) and Hanuma Vihari (56).

The tourists resumed on 6-174 and appeared sure to trail significantly until the seventh-wicket pair took their stand to 77, with 132 runs added in all for the last four wickets.

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As Cook then set out to consolidate the home side's position, he was clapped to the middle by his fourth standing ovation of the week.

He soon lost his opening partner Keaton Jennings, who shouldered arms to Mohammed Shami and lost his off-bail.

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It was an unedifying end to Jennings' largely fallow Test summer with the bat, especially after he had earlier dropped the catch at short-leg which reprieved India No.11 Jasprit Bumrah and cost England 32 runs.

Cook spent 26 balls stuck on 13 either side of tea. But he uncovered occasional fluency, in an unbroken 50 stand with captain Joe Root after Jadeja had spun one through the gate to bowl Moeen Ali - and there were no major alarms to the close.

As has been the curious case throughout this match so far, bat dominated ball before lunch - thanks to Jadeja and Vihari this time.

James Anderson, still three wickets short of overhauling Australia great Glenn McGrath's mark of 563 for a pace bowler, drew a blank alongside Stuart Broad.

Debutant Vihari completed his half-century from 104 balls. It took Jadeja nine deliveries more and into the afternoon before he cut Moeen for his seventh boundary to reach the same milestone.

Vihari's dismissal, caught behind pushing up the line as Mooen's arm ball drifted across him, was the only one before lunch.

Contributor: Ravindra Jadeja's knock was crucial in keeping India competitive.

Contributor: Ravindra Jadeja's knock was crucial in keeping India competitive.Credit:AP

Ishant Sharma went in a near-action replay to Moeen and then Shami got greedy against Adil Rashid and holed out at long-on.

Jadeja would have been left stranded at 260 all out if Jennings had held a sharp catch off bat and pad when Rashid's googly was too much for Bumrah.

But he did not - and Jadeja cashed in as the buccaneering presence in a last-wicket stand.

As Root's field placings and bowling changes sent out mixed messages, Bumrah faced only 14 out of 54 deliveries - and Jadeja memorably smashed the second new ball straight back over Anderson's head for six.

India's fun, and England's frustration, finally ended when Bumrah was run out chancing a tight single.

Then, of course, it was over to Cook one last time in a knock that will extend into day four.

PA