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Bat-tering them

England carried on from where they left off last night in the second day of the Ashes second test, with Alastair Cook giving Australia another terrible hammering with the bat.

England finished 317-2 at stumps early this morning, with Cook putting on a magnificent 136 not out. The score takes his aggregate tally for the series so far to a whopping 438 from only three innings, one of which isn’t yet finished.

However it wasn’t only Cook who gave the Aussies what for, as Jonathan Trott put on a respectable 78 and Kevin Pietersen is at 85 not out. England will look to bat well into day three to give Australia a difficult total to reach to avoid being beaten by a whole innings, but a draw is always a possibility on such a good batting pitch.

‘I'm very, very happy with how I've concentrated and not made silly mistakes which is pretty much the art of batting,’ said Cook. ‘Things have gone my way but the way I backed it up from last week is really pleasing.

‘(Graham) Gooch has been with me through thick and thin. He was the one helping last summer when I was struggling. He knows that being an opener you go through these peaks and troughs.

‘At 37 degrees it's up there with one of the hottest days I've played cricket in, but you have to cash in when you're in this kind of form and don't give it away. There's no chance of me doing that and it was quite hard physically after what happened last week in Brisbane.’

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