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Summary

  1. Cook 244* - highest score v Australia
  2. Smith drops Cook on 66 & 153
  3. Cook & Broad (56) add 100 for 9th wkt
  4. Root 61, Woakes 26, Bairstow 22
  5. Lyon, Hazlewood & Cummins - 3 wkts
  6. Australia lead 3-0 in five-Test series

Live Reporting

By Jack Skelton, Matthew Henry and Mandeep Sanghera

All times stated are UK

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Right, that's it from us but don't forget to catch the Pint-sized Ashes later. There will also be Jonathan Agnew's column so you can get his take on events in Australia.

In the meantime, check out the report of day three by clicking here.

More from Stuart Broad on BT Sport: "We'll go into tomorrow with some scoreboard pressure and searching for some reverse swing.

"This pitch is really slow so the short ball is easier to deal with. The others have been kissing on better.

"Australia had a clear plan that has really worked for them and it's been tricky. I got hit in the throat early on today so just thought, 'Stuff that, I'm going to have a hit.'"

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David Beckett: In a losing series, I'm a firm believer in embracing the "better late than never" performances from individuals or team as it shows mental fortitude (not a complete capitulation) and skills to be harnessed for the next test and series.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

I would have been tempted to declare. I would have given Australia's openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft 20 minutes to bat at the end of the day. I am not sure another 20 runs would have a big difference but it would have made a big difference to get rid of them tonight.

Did England miss a trick by not declaring and giving Australia a tricky spell to negotiate at the end of the day? Michael Vaughan seems to think so...

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Jason Hall: As much as he's been class for England, its time for Moeen to take a break from England to sort his head out. Give Mason Crane a chance, the ashes are lost, time to try out some future talent.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

Moeen has had no success playing normally in the series so he thought he would try something different and you have got to give him a little credit but it was too frantic.

This pitch should have suited his style.

The concern is he thought his only option was to hit every ball for four. To get out for 20 off 14 balls you have got to have more of a game to grow an innings on a flat wicket.

Alastair Cook might have found form but one England player still struggling is Moeen Ali. He took no wickets in Australia's innings and his problems with the bat also continued as he was out for 20 off 14 balls.

He went for the strategy of smashing his way out of trouble but only managed to get out to spinner Nathan Lyon for the sixth time in seven innings.

Moeen Ali
Getty Images

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Jeremy Palmer: Good stuff from Cook and hope he carries his bat, bonus to see Broad has remembered he can bat.

Stuart Broad survived his bouncer barrage to score only his second half-century in four years.

His knock was finally ended when Usman Khawaja tumbled at third man to take a catch off Pat Cummins.

There was some doubt if Khawaja had taken the catch cleanly but Broad was given out by the third umpire after numerous replays.

Usman Khawaja
Getty Images

Let's give Stuart Broad some credit as well. After taking four wickets in Australia's innings, he finally made a meaningful contribution with the bat, despite being peppered with some short stuff.

Broad made 56 from 63 balls, including eight fours and one six.

Stuart Broad
Reuters

Take stat

  • During his innings, Cook moved from ninth to sixth in the all-time list of leading Test run-scorers, surpassing Mahela Jayawardene, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara
  • Cook has made 11 scores of 150-plus in Tests, an England record
  • Nathan Lyon has dismissed Moeen Ali six times in seven innings in this series
  • Stuart Broad's 56 is the first half-century by an England number 10 since Chris Lewis' 65 in 1991
  • This was only the second time Cook has batted with Broad, in their 113th Test together

Here's Alastair Cook's wagon wheel of runs. Runs all around the pitch...

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Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Alastair Cook has gone past Mahela Jayawardene and Brian Lara today on the list of highest run-scorers in Test cricket but he's not as good as those players technically. He makes up for it with his mental strength and his ability to concentrate.

At Perth he was pushing whereas here he was swinging the bat more confidently and assertively.

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Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

It's been a very, very good innings from Alastair Cook. He was dropped twice, which are the only flaws. Technically, it's among the best times I have seen Cook bat. He was helped by a pitch that suits his game more now.

On the fast bouncy pitch at Perth he struggled. Here on a more sub-continent style pitch, which has been slow, low and abrasive, he has been able to play with a straight bat and get back into the ball to play forward. he looked in total control.

Once Cook felt the technical challenges were within his grasp then he saw the big score there for the taking.

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne has been impressed by Alastair Cook's 244 not out...

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Can England batsman Alastair Cook keep moving up the batting chart for most runs in Test cricket? He's sixth at the moment with Kumar Sangakkara fifth, 444 runs ahead.

"Who knows? Things haven't really changed for me. I try to score runs every time I bat for England," said Cook.

"So far the series hasn't gone that well but today is a good day. I'm not sure I'm allowed to say it, but I will have a beer tonight."

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

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Mo: The Australians don’t take it easy, Ray Pearson. The want to embarrass England, they want to whitewash us, force players into retirement and open up mental scars.

(see 0741)

Australia coach Darren Lehmann, speaking to BT Sport: "You always miss a bowler like Mitchell Starc.

"Some of the guys have been ill. Someone has been cooking dodgy curry - maybe that's me as I'm a terrible cook. But the lads are fine and won't be using illness as an excuse.

"We're disappointed with the way we batted yesterday, collapsing like we did and we've got some work to do now."

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All this moaning by of too little too late. Would people rather a 5-0 or 3-2? I know what I'd prefer.

Tim, Portsmouth

If you think it's too little too late from England, former skipper Michael Vaughan has a message to those who might not think much of Alastair Cook's marathon knock...

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So what camp do you fall into?

1. Well done to England for bouncing back and showing pride in their performance, even though the Ashes have gone.

2. Where were these performances from Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad and Joe Root when they were really needed?

Whichever it is, there is now a very good chance the 5-0 whitewash might be avoided.

What have you missed?

A rare good day for England. Here's how it has gone:

  • England resumed on 192-2 with Alastair Cook and Joe Root at the crease.
  • Root got the one run he needed to pass 50 but was out for 61.
  • Dawid Malan (14), Jonny Bairstow (22), Moeen Ali (20), Chris Woakes (26) and Tom Curran (4) are also dismissed.
  • Stuart Broad gives Cook more sustained support with a knock of 56.
  • Cook reaches 244 not out by the end of play with James Anderson on zero as England reach 491-9 by the close and a lead of 164 runs.
James Anderson (left) and Alastair Cook
Reuters

And with that my four-hour stint on this live text comes to an end.

Not complaining at all - it's been an absolute pleasure to watch Alastair Cook bat.

Here's Mandeep Sanghera to guide you through more recaps and reaction.

There's also a full report of day three available here.

If you're just joining us...

Here are some of the records that Alastair Cook racked up today:

  • First England player to make 11 scores of 150+
  • Highest score by a visiting batsman at the MCG, beating Viv Richards' 208
  • Moved up to 6th all-time Test run-scorer, surpassing West Indies duo Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara on day three
  • Highest personal score in Australia, overtaking his 235 not out in Brisbane in 2010

Australia coach Darren Lehmann, speaking to BT Sport: "Cook was fantastic, the way he concentrated for the whole day.

"We created some opportunities but didn't take them and that's the key in Test match cricket on these pitches.

"I'd like a little bit more bounce, especially for against the England tail. If we have that, they don't get the scores they have.

"But full credit to them, they've played really well, all of them chipped in and batted around Cook, who is an absolute superstar."

Alastair Cook
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As we seem to be communicating exclusively through the BBC Sport live text, if you could pass on to Kathryn that I’m on the sofa and I’d love some breakfast. Thanks.

Adam in Newbury (see 07:55)

Stuart Broad, who made 56, speaking to BT Sport: "Cooky said not to look too far ahead and just get five runs at a time - it's helpful for the lower order just breaking it down like that.

"I didn't want to take him out of his comfort zone, not trying to cause chaos and outscore each other.

"It was good fun and helpful to share the strike. When you get pressure on you as a lower order batsman having to face six balls from the same bowler, it's good to rotate the strike."

To move away briefly from Alastair Cook, huge credit must go to Stuart Broad too.

His well-known weakness playing the short ball has caused him plenty of problems throughout the series and did again as he was hit in the throat by Josh Hazlewood early on today.

But he started to play a few nicely and grew in confidence as Australia grew ragged, eventually flaying the bowlers around to all corners.

His contribution ended on 56, when Usman Khawaja took a diving catch that wasn't clear - the ball may have scraped the ground after popping out of his hands but there was not enough evidence to overturn the soft signal of out on the field.

It will add to the scrutiny over the umpires in this Test - after missing Dawid Malan's inside edge onto pads when giving him out lbw. Although Malan missed it too and decided not to review.

Regardless, Broad played a blinder.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

It has been one of Alastair Cook's best innings because I have not seen him hit the ball down the ground so hard. Whether it is the pitch or the absence of Mitchell Starc only he can answer.

From the minute Cook walked out he played good strokes and his bat has looked very wide. He played with the strength of mind we know he has got.

His mind has always been his strength but what impressed me is the technical attacking ability rather than looking to survive. It just shows, no matter how many games you play, you do lose confidence.

What you've missed...

...an Alastair Cook masterclass, basically. The opener converted his unbeaten 104 into 244 not out to help England reach 491-9 at the close, a lead of 164.

He was dropped on 153 by Steve Smith, the same man who spilled him on 66 yesterday, but otherwise it was pretty much flawless. Those tucks, cuts and pulls accentuated with some delicious drives down the ground.

At the other end, Joe Root looked good. Then Joe Root got out without converting his start - pulling a short ball to Nathan Lyon who was set back for that exact shot.

Dawid Malan got in but was given out lbw and didn't review when replayed showed he'd edged it into his pads.

Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes all got starts but couldn't kick on and England were wobbling a tad at 366-7, leading by 39.

Tom Curran came and went before Stuart Broad arrived. At first he chanced his arm and then started flaying a tired Aussie attack around the park, putting on a vital 100 partnership with Cook before he was controversially out, caught (or maybe not) by Usman Khawaja.

But still Cook remained, becoming the sixth highest run-scorer in Test history and hitting the highest score by a visiting batsman at the MCG. Well played that man.

Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

England are overwhelming favourites to go on and win the game now. They are in a terrific position and their bowling attack is better suited to bowling on this pitch than Australia's.

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Wondering where my boyfriend has been all night until I see Cook is still not out.

Kathryn in Newbury

More from Alastair Cook on BT Sport: "Last night it was relief. Today I was quite proud that I came back, got in again and dug deep to get a big one. When you get a chance to get in on a flat wicket, you want to make it a big one."

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

A lot of fans are saying why didn't England produce when it really counted but they didn't because they weren't able to.

What we want to see from England is pride in performance and that is what we have seen in the first three days here.

It has been a group of individuals desperate to see England finish with a positive. The Ashes will stay in Australia but you can still gain something.

England fans celebrate Cook 200
Getty Images

For those irked by the timing of Cook's double ton after the Ashes have already been lost - there is no doubt he desperately wanted to find this form back in November.

For now, let us just enjoy this knock, it's been a belter and has put England in a really strong position to win the Test.

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RPU: It’s a bit like an under-fire centre-forward coming on to score a late hat-trick when your team are already 6-0 down but it’s always good to see Alastair Cook have a great knock.

Glenn Norris: It's important to win these last two Tests to cheapen the win for the Aussies, just as they did for us last series. Give them something to think about next time

Ray Pearson: TOO LATE!!!!! The Australians are just taking it easy!!

'The doubts have been beating me up'

Alastair Cook
AFP

England's Alastair Cook on BT Sport: "Last night it ranked right up there, because it was a kind of feeling like last-chance saloon. When you're in those positions and you dig yourself out, it makes you proud.

"Those doubts are always there and they've been beating me up for four or five weeks. But I know I've done it before."