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England strike twice to boost hopes of win

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David Warner and Shaun Marsh fell as Australia were left in danger of losing the fourth Ashes Test to England.

England struck twice in the opening session on day five of the fourth Ashes Test to boost their chances of victory against Australia in Melbourne.

A lifeless MCG pitch is still offering little to bowlers and David Warner and Steve Smith continued to look comfortable early on Saturday.

However, Warner (86) and Shaun Marsh (4) fell during the session as Australia were left at 178-4, a lead of just 14 runs, at lunch.

Rain ruined day four and hurt England’s chances of a first victory of a series they have already lost.

Smith, who is unbeaten on 50, and Warner were in control early on the final day, although they were still in no rush.

But their 107-run partnership was broken by Joe Root (1-1), who was offered a gift by Warner on his 27th birthday.

So patient throughout his 227-ball innings, Warner skied the off-spinner and James Vince took a catch to boost England’s spirits.

While the MCG pitch showed few signs of deterioration, Marsh fell just before lunch, edging Stuart Broad (1-23) through to Jonny Bairstow.

Like Broad, James Anderson (1-33) bowled tightly, while Moeen Ali (0-28) has sent down just eight overs.