Alastair Cook batted on and on and on - for so long, in fact, that his eventual score of 235 not out was almost ten times his previous average in Tests against Australia. By the time England called a halt to his magnum opus, the previously formidable Gabbatoir was as tame as a petting zoo, with the Barmy Army singing his praises against an echoing backdrop of flipped-up plastic seating. Not only did Cook's score outstrip Donald Bradman's 226 as the highest individual innings at the Gabba, it exceeded the series total of 222 that Cook mustered in the 2009 Ashes, while his match total of 302 was also a new ground record, beating the 300 that Matthew Hayden made against England in 2002-03
Business as usual
Jonathan Trott is getting pretty used to taking part in gargantuan stands. In England's last Test, at Lord's back in August, he and Stuart Broad shattered England's eighth-wicket record by piling up a massive 332. So today's unbeaten 329 stand with Cook was small beer by comparison. Nevertheless, in taking his chance to rack up a fourth Test hundred, Trott reacquainted himself with his favourite opponents, Australia, against whom he has now racked up second-innings hundreds in each of his two games.
Trebles all round
England haven't had to lot to cheer about triple-century partnerships in recent Ashes history. On Saturday, their immediate prospects were quashed by Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin, who set a new Gabba record mark of 307; while four years ago in Adelaide, Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen's 310-run stand ended up as the sorriest of footnotes in the most crushing defeat in recent Ashes history. This time, however, there was a lot more for England to get excited about, as they overhauled both of those figures to achieve a new national high in Ashes cricket.
Australia's attack has been overly generous during the past two days, but their discipline before lunch on the final day was particularly bad. Mitchell Johnson attempted a bouncer from around the wicket that went so far down the legside it ended up as five wides. Later, Brad Haddin gave up eight byes in two balls from Xavier Doherty, with the second batch bringing up England's 400. Shane Watson was also called for a wide when he attempted a bouncer as nothing went right for the hosts.
Michael Clarke was in the business section of the field after spending the first innings floating around to protect his injured back. However, he became one of five Australians to spill a chance when Trott edged to him at first slip on 75. By Test standards it was a sitter, but Clarke spilt it to his right, causing more comments about his fitness, and more anguish for Watson.
By far the best moment for Australia was the declaration at 1 for 517 shortly before tea. The tired and relieved Australians were gracious in their praise for Cook and Trott, showing there are good feelings in this series as well as bad. Simon Katich fell in Australia's short reply, but Ricky Ponting's mood improved slightly with a breezy half-century.