MELBOURNE, Dec 29: England rejected ball-tampering allegations as a �beat-up� today as rain frustrated their push for their first victory of the Ashes series against Australia.
England�s Alastair Cook carried his bat for a world- record 244 not out before David Warner, unbeaten on 40, and captain Steve Smith, on 25, defied the visiting bowlers on a rain-truncated day.
When the match umpires called off play at 5:20 pm (0620 GMT), after persistent rain, Australia were 103 for two and trailing by 61 runs with a day remaining.
Extended hours will be played on the final day on Saturday as England press for their first win of the series, in which Australia hold an unbeatable 3-0 lead.
�Any time there�s a bit of rain and you�re on top in the game it�s a bit frustrating, but we�ve got an opportunity tomorrow to win and that�s the attitude we�ve got to take,� England coach Trevor Bayliss told reporters.
�We showed in the first innings that we can take a number of wickets reasonably quickly.
�So, 98 overs tomorrow, it�s more than enough time if we play well to force a result.�
Bayliss also slammed claims of tampering after footage of England bowler James Anderson working the ball with his thumbnail drew suspicions.
�I�m not sure you are allowed to use your fingernail there,� former Test spinner Shane Warne said on the Channel Nine TV coverage.
Fellow former Test star Michael Slater added: �That�s interesting, you can�t get your nail into the ball. That�s a no-no.�
Anderson, skipper Joe Root and fellow fast bowler Stuart Broad were involved in discussions with umpires Sundaram Ravi and Kumar Dharmasena.
Australia first innings 327
England first innings (overnight 491-9): A Cook not out 244, M Stoneman c and b Lyon 15, J Vince lbw Hazlewood 17, J Root c Lyon b Cummins 61, D Malan lbw b Hazlewood 14, J Bairstow c Paine b Lyon 22, M Ali c S Marsh b Lyon 20, C Woakes c Paine b Cummins 26, T Curran c Paine b Hazlewood 4, S Broad c Khawaja b Cummins 56, J Anderson c Bancroft b Cummins 0, Extras (b4, lb5, nb3) 12, Total (all out; 144.1 overs) 491. Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-80, 3-218, 4-246, 5-279, 6-307, 7-366, 8-373, 9-473, 10-491. Bowling: Hazlewood 30-5-95-3, Bird 30-5-108-0 (3nb), Lyon 42-9-109-3, Cummins 29.1-1-117-4, M. Marsh 12-1-42-0, Smith 1 -0-11-0.
Australia second inning: C Bancroft b Woakes 27, D Warner not out 40, U Khawaja c Bairstow b Anderson 11, S Smith not out 25; Extras 0. Total (2 wickets; 43.5 overs) 103. Fall of wickets: 1-51, 2-65. Bowling: Anderson 11-5-20-1, Broad 7-4-18-0, Woakes 11.5 -6-24-1, Curran 11-3-26-0, Ali 3-0-15-0. � AFP