The Ashes Round-up: Weather holds up Australia

Heavy rain brought a premature end to the fourth day of the third Ashes Test in Perth as Australia closed in on victory over England.

Rain affects day four of the third Ashes Test   -  Getty Images

Australia was left cursing some inclement weather late on the fourth day of the third Ashes Test in Perth as England found itself under the pump once again.

The visiting side is still 127 behind with six wickets in hand and the rain forecast on the final day remains its best chance of salvaging a draw and keeping the series alive.

THE HEADLINES

- Steve Smith (239) and Mitchell Marsh (181) fail to add to their 301-run stand as James Anderson returns 4-116.

READ: Australia close to glory as England loses three wickets

- Australia declared at 662-9 with Tim Paine (49 not out) and Pat Cummins (41) keeping the tourist out in the field.

- Mark Stoneman (3), Alastair Cook and Joe Root (both 14) fall cheaply as England finished the day 132-4, James Vince making 55 before perishing to a Mitchell Starc wonder-ball.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Starc's dismissal of Vince was something to savour. Bowled around the wicket from wide of the crease, the ball angled towards leg stump, jagged off a crack and uprooted the off peg.

OPTA FACTS

- India is the only other team to have posted 600+ in a Test innings in 2017, having done so on five occasions.

- England has made 400+ batting first and lost on eight occasions. Three of those have been by an innings, including two last year in India (Mumbai and Chennai; also vs Australia, The Oval, 1930).

- Australia has led by 200+ runs after batting second at home 39 times. It is W36 D3 L0, the only draw with England (W6 D1) coming at Brisbane 2010-11.

REACTION

"That was pretty special, that's getting anyone out I think!" - Josh Hazlewood reflects on Starc's jaffa to remove Vince.

ALSO READ: Numbers tell the story as Cook's Ashes woes continue

"We've got to keep fighting. The rain helped us, but tomorrow we've got to come with a good attitude and hopefully fight through the day." - Anderson issues the England rallying cry.

WILL THE RAIN SAVE ENGLAND?

Of all the Test venues in Australia, the WACA would expect the least rain but inclement weather is forecast for Monday and, with a feeble looking tail, England may need all the help it can get.

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