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Warner digs deep as rain halts England

Big-hitting batsman David Warner made it to 40 not out from 140 balls as tea was called early due to rain in Melbourne on Friday.

Australia opener David Warner produced an uncharacteristic batting performance, while rain wreaked havoc in England’s pursuit of a morale-boosting victory in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

Patience is not usually associated with big-hitting batsman Warner, who blazed his way to 103 runs off just 151 deliveries after celebrating his 21st Test century in the first innings on Boxing Day in Melbourne.

But after fellow opener Cameron Bancroft (27) and out-of-form Usman Khawaja (11) fell cheaply on Friday and with England frustrating Warner, he dug deep with 40 not out from 140 balls as tea was called early with the Australians 103-2 – 61 runs behind.

Chris Woakes (1-24) and James Anderson (1-20) put England on top in the morning session after the tourists were bowled out for 491 following Alastair Cook’s record-setting unbeaten 244-run knock, Warner and captain Steve Smith left in the middle and fighting to salvage the fourth Test.

Warner and Smith added 33 runs post-lunch but two rain delays halted England, who have already surrendered the Ashes to Australia having slumped to a 3-0 series deficit.