Australia captain Steven Smith and David Warner's resolute batting ensured there were no more hiccups for the home team crawled to 103 for 2 in their second innings before rain forced early stumps on Day 4 of the fourth Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. (Scorecard)

The rain has practically ended England's chances of registering a consolation win in this series with just one more day of play remaining.

The MCG floodlights were illuminated and ground staff covered the center wicket in the hope that the match would recommence before the umpires eventually called off play for the day.

First-innings century-maker Warner, batting with extreme caution, was unbeaten on 40 from 140 balls when play was interrupted with Smith 25 not out and the pair needing to

build a big partnership on the final day to salvage a draw.

Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was dismissed for 27 when he chopped a ball from Chris Woakes back on to his stumps. Then Usman Khawaja, who got off the mark with a massive six off English spinner Moeen Ali, departed for 11 when Jimmy Anderson found the edge and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow took a routine catch.

Earlier, England couldn't add a single run to their overnight score this morning as Pat Cummins removed James Anderson for a duck off the first ball of the day which left former skipper Alastair Cook stranded on 244*.

It is the highest score by an opener to have carried his bat through an innings surpassing New Zealand opener Glenn Turner's 223* against the West Indies way back in 1972.

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