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LIVE: Australia v England, 4th Test, Day 1

By Matthew Sherry

England headed into the Boxing Day at the MCG seeking to restore pride after surrendering the Ashes by slipping 3-0 behind in Perth.

The tourists were without Graeme Swann, who retired from international cricket at the weekend, but Stuart Broad was passed fit after suffering a foot injury at the WACA.

Having been asked to bat, England started impressively as Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry prospered.

Cook would eventually fall to Peter Siddle for 27, but Joe Root looked to steady the ship alongside Michael Carberry.

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Morning Session 

1.30am – LUNCH! England 71/1; Carberry 26, Root 11 – A competitive session comes to an end on the back of Shane Watson and Harris causing problems. The latter’s final over brings a review but umpire Aleem Dar’s not-out verdict following an lbw appeal is upheld as the ball was only just clipping Carberry’s off stump.

1.17am – The only thing more annoying than potential rain? Well, of course, it’s the swarms of flies hovering on everybody’s clothes. There are thousands of them!

1.13am – There’s not too much happening at the MCG as Australia bowl tightly. There are some dark clouds hovering and signs of a little rain, however. 

12.42am – WICKET! Cook c Clarke b Siddle 27; England 48/1 – A solid start for England comes to an end as Cook, playing with an angled bat away from his body off the back foot, edges to Michael Clarke at second slip.

12.28am – More runs for Carberry, who cuts Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle, the latter more a slash over the slips, for boundaries.

12.19am – Cracking stroke from Carberry. The opener drives confidently down the ground for four. Australia, though, are causing problems.

11.57am – Another couple of boundaries for the skipper, who drives and fortuitously toe-ends to the fence. They all count…

11.45am – Cracking stroke from Alastair Cook. Mitchell Johnson sends down a short-and-wide delivery that he cuts to the fence.

11.37am – Ryan Harris gets the action under way with a fairly non-descript opening over that features just a leg-bye.

Pre-Play News 

11.24am – The national anthems are about to be sung, which means we’re almost ready for one of the great cricketing occasions.

11.03am – AUSTRALIA WIN TOSS & BAT – Everything is on time after all and, just like clock-work, Alastair Cook has called incorrectly at the toss once again. England will bat first in overcast conditions.

10.48am – Maybe it won’t after all… It’s raining in Melbourne.

10.45am – Hello and a belated Merry Christmas to all. I realise you’re all likely a little bloated but we’re just 45 minutes away from the fourth Ashes Test beginning. The toss will take place first of all, at 11pm.

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