Centuries For Cook And Bell Push England Clear
Australia 280 (Johnson 53, Anderson 4-66) v
England 488-7 (Cook 189, Bell 115)
Fifth Ashes Test, Sydney, day three
Centuries from Alastair Cook and Ian Bell propelled England into a 208-run lead over Australia after day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney.
Cook made 189 and Bell 115 as England closed the day on 488 for seven in reply to Australia's 280 all out.
Cook faced 341 balls as he reached his third century of the series and he added 154 with Bell for the seventh wicket followoing the cheap dismissals of James Anderson (7) and Paul Collingwood (13).
Anderson was bowled by Peter Siddle while Collingwood became left-arm spinner Michael Beer's first wicket when he offered a catch to Ben Hilfenhaus.
Cook and Bell then saw England into a first-innings lead during their partnership and although Cook fell 11 runs short of a second double-century in the series, Bell was able to register a first Test century against Australia and his 12th in all.
He would have been disappointed, however, to fall shortly before stumps, edging Mitchell Johnson to Michael Clarke.
When play was called off for the day, Matthew Prior was unbeaten on 54 alongside Tim Bresnan, who has yet to score.
The rain-affected opening day saw Australia lose three wickets in quick succession as they closed on 134 for four after winning the toss and choosing to bat first. The highlight of the opening day was a fluent innings of 37 by debutant Usman Khawaja - in the side as a replacement for the injured Ricky Ponting.
Day two saw England dismiss Australia for 280 and then start their reply, Andrew Strauss making 60 in 58 balls as they closed on 167 for three.
England lead the series 2-1 following innings victories in Adelaide and Melbourne. Australia won by 267 runs in Perth after the opening Test in Brisbane was drawn.
© Cricket World 2011