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Sports

England chase victory over India in final 5th Test

media Cricket - England v India - Fifth Test - Kia Oval, London, Britain - September 11, 2018 England's Joe Root and team mates before the start of play Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

England needed just seven wickets to win the fifth and final Test of the series at the Oval Tuesday, with India chasing an improbable 464 victory.

England began the final day of the fifth Test against India Tuesday in a comfortable position.

The hosts have already won the series 3-1 up, leaving the tourists with a daunting task of having to bat out the day to have any chance of avoiding a total defeat.

It was a special day for Alastair Cook on the fourth day as he brought up his century in his final Test innings, signing off with a memorable 147, watched by his pregnant wife Alice.

"It's just been the most surreal four days of my life really," said Cook who batted for the last time Monday before retiring.

"I suppose if she goes into labour that will probably top it off but, yeah, incredible (...) every reception I've had over the last four days, it's just been incredible."

Already his country's most-capped test player with 161, run-maker and century compiler, Cook's final flourish with the bat took him to fifth on the all-time Test runs list with 12,472.

On day five it was his colleague James Anderson who was batting to enter into the record books. Anderson needed just one more wicket to become the most prolific pace bowler in Tests, and overtake his current level of 563 scalps that he shares with Glenn McGrath.

England's Stuart Broad kicked off the final test with a broken rib, after being hit in first innings by India's Jasprit Bumrah, but that didn't prevent him claiming the prized wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli's first ball.

It was then up to KL Rahul, who scored his first half-century of the series, to get the tourists back on track. After resuming day five on 58 for 3, India was up 90 for 3 at the end of Tuesday's morning session. They need 400 more runs for a very unlikely victory.

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