Printed: December 29, 2017 12:34 pm
A morning that introduced two wickets for England and a sniff of a drought-breaking Ashes win gave strategy to a bleak afternoon for the vacationers on Friday as rain washed out most of day 4 on Friday and left Australia well-placed to save lots of the fourth take a look at. The house facet had been 103 for 2 of their second innings on the Melbourne Cricket Floor when rain interrupted play earlier than tea and the showers lingered lengthy sufficient for umpires to desert the day with out one other ball bowled.
David Warner was 40 not out, with captain Steve Smith on 25 and Australia nonetheless needing one other 61 runs to make England bat once more. However even with the promise of reverse swing, Joe Root’s bowlers face an enormous process on an unresponsive pitch to stop Australia’s batsmen from batting them out of the sport.
“(The pitch) is getting slower,” Australia coach Darren Lehmann instructed host broadcaster Channel 9. “It’s tough work for a new batter. So once you’re in, you’ve got to stay in. “Our boys are fighting really hard. A couple of good (England) balls to get the wickets and Smith and the vice- captain (Warner) went about their work.”
Australia regained the Ashes after the third take a look at in Perth and maintain an unassailable Three-Zero lead within the collection however England had hope of cracking a primary win after Alastair Prepare dinner’s unbeaten 244 propelled them to a primary innings lead of 164. They’d resumed their first innings on 491-9 within the morning however had been unable to increase their whole, with tail-ender James Anderson dismissed first ball by paceman Pat Cummins, fending a catch straight to Cameron Bancroft at quick leg.
That left former captain Prepare dinner unbeaten on his in a single day rating, a document whole amongst openers who’ve carried their bat by means of an innings. Prepare dinner turned the 46th participant to realize the feat in assessments and likewise the primary England batsman to take action in 20 years, since Mike Atherton’s 94 not out towards New Zealand in Christchurch in 1997.
Australia’s second innings started brightly on a cloudy however dry morning, with England dropping a overview for a caught behind determination when opener Bancroft performed at a Tom Curran ball within the seventh over of the innings. Nevertheless, the vacationers seamers struck twice to go away Australia wobbling at 65-2 earlier than Warner and Smith confirmed endurance and poise of their unbroken stand of 38.
All-rounder Chris Woakes made the early breakthrough, bowling Bancroft for 27, with England fast Anderson having quantity three Usman Khawaja caught behind for 11. Australia resumed on 70-2 after lunch however added solely 16 runs earlier than the primary rain interruption.
Play was quickly again on however solely one other 33 minutes had been doable earlier than the session was delivered to a untimely shut.