RAJKOT: Captain Alastair Cook and teenager Haseeb Hameed enjoyed a record-breaking morning for England against India in Rajkot on Sunday.
Cook made his 30th Test century and record fifth in India, more than any overseas batsman, and Hameed struck the highest score by a England teenager as the first Test headed towards a draw on the final day.
At lunch England were 211 for 2 in their second innings, a lead of 260 with two sessions of the match remaining.
Ben Stokes (6) was keeping Cook company.
Hameed, 19, belied his tender years in making 82 off 177 balls that contained one six and seven boundaries.
His knock was the highest Test score by a teenager for England, beating Jack Crawford’s 74 in Cape Town in 1906.
Cook and Hameed started out cautiously, but opened up to play some delightful shots on both sides of the wicket in batsmen-friendly conditions.
India finally tasted success when leg-spinner Amit Mishra took a sharp return catch as Hameed tried to go for a slog sweep as England upped the pace.
The youngster hit seven fours and a six during his 235-minute stay.
Mishra also dismissed Joe Root (4) as England added 97 while losing two wickets in the session.
Hameed, nicknamed “Baby Boycott” for his unflappable batting technique, put on 180 runs with Cook — a record opening stand for England in India after making a stylish 31 during England’s first innings.
Hameed’s Indian-born father Ismail and family were there to see him achieve the feat from the stands at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground.
Hameed is Cook’s 10th different opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012 and on this form could be the long-term solution at the top of the order.
“He’s been very good,” leg-spinner Adil Rashid said of his teammate after Saturday’s play, when he finished 62 not out.
“He’s got a good head, he’s a clever boy, works hard in the nets and he’s a great talent. I wasn’t surprised at all how he came out and played here.”
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said he had not seen “any teenage overseas batsman play spin so well as Hameed”.