Australia 327 & 103-2 (Warner 40no) v
England 491 (Cook 244no)
Fourth Test, Melbourne, day four
Heavy and incessant rain played spoilsport at Melbourne Cricket Ground on day four as nearly 43 overs were unbowled after Australia staged a brief comeback to reach 103 for two riding on a valiant partnership between David Warner and Steven Smith.
Earlier, England's first innings on the fourth day lasted just one delivery as Pat Cummins (4-117) had James Anderson (0) caught at short leg. Alastair Cook (244 not out) carried his bat all the way through and England ended their innings with a lead of 164 runs over Australia.
This was also the highest unbeaten knock by an opener in Tests as Cook surpassed his own tally of 235 that came in Brisbane.
After a cautious start, Cameron Bancroft (27) smashed back to back boundaries in the fourth over of the second innings. Three overs later, Bancroft survived a review for a caught behind decision off Tom Curran (0-26).
Curran continued to trouble Bancroft but he and Warner managed to weather the early storm and brought the 50-run stand off 93 deliveries but immediately after the milestone, Bancroft dragged a Chris Woakes (1-24) delivery on to the stumps.
Usman Khawaja (11) looked positive from the outset and even struck a six and a four off Moeen Ali (0-15) in his brief 14-ball stay that was ended by James Anderson (1-20) when he nicked one behind the stumps. Australia ended the session with a score of 70 for two.
Warner and Steven Smith (25 not out) started to grind in the second session as they managed just 16 runs off the first 11 overs before rain interrupted the proceedings by 14:00 local time.
After a delay of 21 minutes, the play resumed and the duo looked defiant and overall added 38 runs in their combined 22.4 overs of stay at the crease. As the total crossed the 100-run mark, rain arrived at 15:02 local time but this time the play did not resume leading to early stumps.
Australia still trail England by 61 runs with eight wickets in hand leading into the final day.
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