Dec 272013

By Matthew Sherry

Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry strengthened England’s position in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

With Australia resuming nine down and 91 behind, hopes were high that the tourists could quickly claim a final scalp.

But Brad Haddin, who struck 65, and Nathan Lyon put on a frustrating 40-run stand before James Anderson had the former caught on the pull to end with figures of 4-67.

Australia were subsequently dismissed for 204, surrendering a 91-run deficit which Alastair Cook helped extend by striking 51.

He was trapped lbw by Mitchell Johnson, yet England were in a positive position on 79 for one, 130 ahead, after 26 overs.

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Afternoon Session

England 2nd Innings 

3.12am – WICKET! Root run out Johnson 15; England 86/3 – You cannot keep Johnson out of the game. Root sets off for a quick single and, despite a dive, is well short Mitch delivers a direct hit.

3.05am – WICKET! Carberry lbw Siddle 12; England 86/2 – Australia have a second as Siddle, bowling around the wicket, traps Carberry lbw.

3.03am – Root picks up his first boundary, guiding Peter Siddle through third man.

2.37am – REVIEW! – Johnson thought he had two in three balls after umpire Aleem Dar raised the finger for a Joe Root caught-behind. However, technology showed no edge so the batsman remains.

2.34am – WICKET! Cook lbw Johnson 51; England 65/1 – The captain’s excellent innings comes to an end as he plays all around a straight one from Johnson, opting not to review.

2.23am – FIFTY! Cook (60b 7×4 0x6) – Well, Alastair Cook has picked up where he left off – driving Shane Watson for two boundaries through point in an over to move to 50.

2.18am – Mitchell Johnson is on for a burst after lunch. This will be a key period for England to get through.

Morning Session

1.31am – LUNCH! England 54/0; Cook 41, Carberry 5 – England reach the interval unscathed, although Carberry can count himself lucky after an edge off Watson fell just short of slip. The tourists, though, are in a strong position.

1.17am – Carberry gets his first boundary, powerfully cutting Shane Watson through point for four.

1.05am – Amid his partner’s flurry of runs, Carberry has one off 31 deliveries. He will be targeting a big score following a series of unfulfilled starts in this series thus far.

12.52am – Cook continues to prosper via a positive approach as he late-cuts and drives Nathan Lyon to the fence.

12.37am – Cook is looking in particularly good touch early on, driving Harris down the ground for four.

12.26am – Positive start from Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry as seven runs come from the first over, bowled by Ryan Harris.

Australia 1st Innings 

12.13am – WICKET! Haddin c Bairstow b Anderson 65; Australia 204 all out – England secure a 51-run lead as Haddin top-edges an attempted pull and Jonny Bairstow claims a simple catch.

12.08am – They have enjoyed some good fortune but Haddin and Lyon continue to prosper. It’s all very frustrating.

11.50am – FIFTY! Haddin (59b 6×4 1×6) – Haddin reaches yet another half-century via a single to mid-on.

11.44am – Frustration for England and Anderson as Nathan Lyon edges through the slips and to the boundary.

11.33am – Stuart Broad and James Anderson have been given the first crack. They start with an impressive over apiece, the latter featuring an edged Brad Haddin four that fell just short of first slip.

Pre-Play News

11.26am – Brad Haddin, who’s having a fine series and will resume on 43, holds the key for Australia. The hosts are 164 for nine, still 91 behind.

11.15am – Hello and welcome to’s live coverage of the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne. The aim for England on day three is simple: grab an early wicket and then get runs, runs and more runs.

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