A morning that brought two wickets for England and a sniff of a drought-breaking Ashes win gave way to a bleak afternoon for the tourists as rain washed out most of day four on Friday and left Australia well-placed to save the fourth test.
The home side were 103 for two in their second innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground when rain interrupted play before tea and the showers lingered long enough for umpires to abandon the day without another ball bowled.
David Warner was 40 not out, with captain Steve Smith on 25 and Australia still needing another 61 runs to make England bat again.
But even with the promise of reverse swing, Joe Root’s bowlers face a big task on an unresponsive pitch to prevent Australia from batting them out of the game.
“Any time there’s a bit of rain and you’re on top in the game it’s a bit frustrating but we’ve got an opportunity tomorrow to win and that’s the attitude we’ve got to take into tomorrow,” England coach Trevor Bayliss told reporters.
“We’ve got to be very disciplined, there’s not a lot you can do on that type of wicket.
“If we can get rid of those two guys early on tomorrow and put some pressure on the opposition late order batters, as I said, anything’s possible.”
His counterpart Darren Lehmann said the pitch was “tough work” for a new batter.
“(The pitch) is getting slower,” the coach told host broadcaster Channel Nine. “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.”
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر