Melbourne - Rain
hampered England's bid for victory on the fourth day of the fourth
Ashes Test on Friday, with David Warner and Steve Smith also offering
resistance at the crease.
At tea after two rain delays, Australia were 103 for two and trailing
the tourists by 61 runs after England's first innings ended on the
first ball of the day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
At the break, Warner was on 40 with skipper Smith not out 25, with
the floodlights on and large rain covers protecting the wicket square.
The tourists, with all the momentum after Alastair Cook's
record-breaking innings of 244 not out, snared the wickets of Cameron
Bancroft and Usman Khawaja to send early jitters through the home side.
Bancroft hit four fours before he chopped Chris Woakes on to his
stumps on 27, while Khawaja was caught behind off James Anderson for 11.
England, pressing for their first victory in the already-decided
Ashes series, were all out on their overnight total of 491 on the first
ball of the day.
Anderson was caught by Bancroft at bat-pad off Pat Cummins for a duck to end the innings. Cummins finished with four for 117.
It meant that Cook achieved the highest score of anyone carrying his
bat - the rare feat of batting throughout the innings - in Test
cricket, bettering New Zealand's Glenn Turner's 223 not out against the
West Indies in Kingston in 1972.
The last Englishman to carry his bat in Tests was Mike Atherton, who
scored 94 in New Zealand in 1997, while Geoff Boycott was the last in an
Ashes innings with his unbeaten 99 in Perth in 1979.
Cook set a number of records on Thursday's third day, when he
surpassed the highest score by a visiting batsman in a Melbourne Test,
bettering the 208 by West Indian great Viv Richards in 1984.
Cook's fifth double-century also catapulted him above West Indian
Brian Lara to become the sixth highest run-getter in Test cricket with
England have four sessions left in Melbourne to secure their first
win of the Ashes series, after going an irretrievable 3-0 down in the
first three Tests.