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Root fails to convert again as England near lead

England were approaching a first-innings lead in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia.

Joe Root failed to convert another start but England edged towards a first-innings lead in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia on Thursday.

Root (61) was unable to make the most of another half-century as the hosts battled back into the Test on day three in Melbourne.

Alastair Cook continued his fine innings, playing several nice drives to be unbeaten on 134 at lunch at the MCG, where England were 264-4 – trailing by 63 runs.

Josh Hazlewood (2-53) was the pick of the Australia bowlers, while Pat Cummins (1-58) – seemingly feeling better after being unwell a day earlier – removed Root.


Resuming at 192-2, England were in control as Root passed 50, but they were slowed down by better bowling from the hosts.

Root departed in dismal fashion, pulling Cummins to Nathan Lyon at deep square leg.

The England captain has scored 35 Test fifties, but he has just 13 centuries to his name and he showed his frustration after his departure, throwing his gloves.

England managed just 32 runs in the opening hour and Hazlewood got the reward he deserved thanks to the second new ball and an error by Dawid Malan.

Malan (14) was given out lbw but replays showed a massive inside edge, although he opted not to review – similar to James Vince on Wednesday.

Jonny Bairstow (16) joined Cook and looked in good form as England close in on a lead.