December 29, 2017 / 1:48 AM / 24 days ago

Cricket-Australia wobble as England seamers strike twice

MELBOURNE, Dec 29 (Reuters) - England’s seamers struck twice to leave Australia wobbling at 70 for two at lunch on day four of the fourth Ashes test on Friday after Alastair Cook carried his bat in a record innings for the tourists.

Opener David Warner will resume on 28 not out alongside his captain Steve Smith, who had made four, with Australia 94 runs short of making England bat again on a warm and cloudy day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

All-rounder Chris Woakes made the early breakthrough, bowling opener Cameron Bancroft for 27, with James Anderson having number three Usman Khawaja caught behind for 11.

England earlier resumed their first innings on 491 for nine but were unable to add to their overnight total, with tail-ender Anderson dismissed first ball by paceman Pat Cummins, fending a catch straight to Bancroft at short leg.

That left former captain Cook unbeaten on 244, a record total among openers who have carried their bat through an innings.

Cook became the 46th player to achieve the feat in tests and also the first England batsman to do so in 20 years, since Mike Atherton’s 94 not out against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1997.

Cummins led Australia’s bowling with 4-117, with fellow seamer Josh Hazlewood and spinner Nathan Lyon grabbing three wickets each.

The quick dismissal was the perfect start for Australia, who made 327 in their first innings, and their openers Bancroft and Warner began brightly.

England lost a review for a caught behind decision when Bancroft played at a Tom Curran ball in the seventh over of the innings.

But Woakes struck after the drinks break, with Bancroft becoming the fourth Australian batsman to drag onto his stumps in the match.

Khawaja belted hapless spinner Moeen Ali for a six but was out not long after when he gloved a catch behind to Jonny Bairstow.

Australia regained the Ashes after the third test in Perth and hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Mulvenney

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