SYDNEY (Reuters) - A dominant Alastair Cook scored 189 and Ian Bell his first century against Australia as England took a commanding first innings lead of 208 at the close of play on the third day of the fifth Ashes test on Wednesday. England, who just need to draw the match to secure a first series win in Australia for 24 years having already retained the Ashes, were on 488-7 with Matt Prior (54) and Tim Bresnan (0) at the crease when bad light stopped play. Cook put on another dazzling display of concentration and not a few fine shots and was given a rousing standing ovation by the 40,000 crowd after taking his series tally to 766 runs. "It's been an amazing five-six weeks for us as a side and for me personally," Cook told reporters. "It's great to be on the crest of a wave and enjoying it. We had a really good plan coming into this series, a good build up and we've played some good cricket but we want to come home winning our series. "That was our aim coming into this game and that's what we'll try to do with another two days left." Australia did not lack effort in the field but their bowlers asked too few questions of the batsmen on a deadening track and their hopes of squaring the series were fading away in the early evening gloom. "What Cook showed was a lot of discipline," Australia stand-in captain Michael Clarke said. "He let a lot of balls go and played to his strengths. We didn't have the discipline to hold our lines and he exploited that." Those hopes were still high at the start of the day when the tourists resumed on 167-3 and Peter Siddle quickly picked up the wicket of nightwatchman Jimmy Anderson for seven. At the other end, though, was the outstanding batsman of the series and Cook, who had started on 61, was soon accelerating towards his third century of the series. By the time he was caught low in the gully by Mike Hussey off Shane Watson just after tea, England had overhauled Australia's first innings tally of 280 and were 100 runs ahead with four wickets in hand. Most of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground were clad in pink in honour of the breast cancer foundation started by test bowling great Glenn McGrath and his late wife Jane but the English batsmen were in no mood for charity. MIXED RECEPTION Bell picked up where Cook had let off and he finally scored his first test century in 31 innings against the Australians but there were boos mixed with cheers as he doffed his helmet. The 29-year-old had been given out caught behind on 67 when the ball went between bat and pad but he stood his ground and was reprieved when the television review England demanded proved inconclusive. The cat calls came again when Bell departed for 115 shortly before the end of the day after being caught by Clarke off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson. "(It's) the best knock that I've played in an England shirt against Australia, so a fantastic moment to eventually get a hundred against Australia, it's great," Bell said. Cook had few scares in his 488-minute innings and had stood his ground when he was on 99 and Australia's Phillip Hughes claimed a catch at short leg. "It was very close and to be fair to Phil Hughes he said straight away, 'I wasn't sure'," Cook said. "I obviously was going to hang around. On 99 you're not going to walk off very quickly, you're going to be dragged off." The umpires checked the TV pictures and concluded that the ball had not carried to Hughes and Cook went on to claim his 16th test century with a single to midwicket shortly afterwards. Debutant spinner Michael Beer, who had lost two potential wickets to TV reviews, finally got his maiden test wicket when Paul Collingwood danced down the pitch but sent the ball looping into the hands of Ben Hilfenhaus at mid-on for 13. Scorecard AUSTRALIA, first innings: 280 ENGLAND, first innings (overnight 167-3): Strauss b Hilfenhaus 60 Cook c Hussey b Watson 189 Trott b Johnson 0 Pietersen c Beer b Johnson 36 Anderson b Siddle 7 Collingwood c Hilfenhaus b Beer 13 Bell c Clarke b Johnson 115 M Prior not out 54 Bresnan not out 0 EXTRAS: (lb-2, w-5, nb-4, b-3) 14 TOTAL: (for seven wickets, 141 overs) 488 Fall of wickets: 1-98 2-99 3-165 4-181 5-226 6-380 7-487 BOWLING: Hilfenhaus 29-5-104-1 (w-1) Johnson 26-3-97-3(w-2) Siddle 26-5-98-1 (nb-1, w-1) Watson 20-7-49-1 (nb-2, w-1) Beer 29-2-85-1 (nb-1) S Smith 10-0-48-0 M Hussey 1-0-2-0.