Melbourne weather rains on England parade


The fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test saw just 44 overs bowled with rain stopping play twice leaving England with little hope of securing a win.

England were bowled out for 491 while Australia reached 103/2 when rain stopped play for good on day four still trailing by 61 runs.

It took just one ball for Australia to wrap up the England innings on the fourth morning with Pat Cummins (4/117) knocking over James Anderson with a short ball.

Alastair Cook carried his bat for a monumental effort of 244 not out down the other end though he did not face a ball on Friday.

Opener Cameron Bancroft (27) became the fourth Australian batsman in the match to drag on with Chris Woakes the beneficiary.

Usman Khawaja’s horror series continued as he nicked off for just 11 off 14 balls to leave Australia 65/2.

Form players David Warner and Steve Smith took Australia to lunch on 70/2 and moved the score to 86 after the break before the first rain delay.

The players would return for a brief spell of 7.1 overs taking the score to 103/2 with Warner on 40 and Smith on 25.

The rain fell intermittently in the afternoon but was heavy enough to ensure that the players would not get back on the park.

England will need quick wickets on day five in order to try to force a result while Australia would need the tourists to play diabolically badly in order for them to win.

The draw is now very much the favoured result and as Darren Lehmann predicted on Thursday, we are unlikely to see another Ashes whitewash.