The tourists are hoping to build on commanding knocks from Shane Watson and Steve Smith and further punish England in an inconsequential fifth and final Ashes Test. Catch all the live updates here: (Scorecard | Commentary)
20:36 (IST): And that is it! Play has been called off for the day without a ball being bowled. So it stands the same, England 247/4 trailing Australia by 245 runs. Hopefully some good news on Day 5 as this match looks set for a draw.August 24, 2013
Day Four play looking less likely as groundsmen will need an additional two hours to dry the field after the rain stops. IF it stops. #Ashes— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) August 24, 2013
17:00 (IST): LUNCH! Early lunch has been taken after rain washes out first session on Day 4.
The rain has lessened (not stopped as of yet) at The Oval as the groundsmen work to dry the outfield. #Ashes— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) August 24, 2013
15:41 (IST): It is still raining in London. Lunch has been rescheduled to 12:30 BST (17:00 IST).
15:29 (IST): The start of play on Day 4 has been delayed as it is raining at the moment at The Oval. England were 247/4 at stumps yesterday.
Rain rain go away !!!!!! ????? pic.twitter.com/ZIV8Wpjtwk— Shane Warne (@warne888) August 24, 2013
14:00 (IST): It's overcast at The Oval and rain is expected to play spoilsport today.
13:30 (IST): It was slow going on the third day at The Oval. Several England batsmen got in but failed to press on, with Kevin Pietersen making an unusually restrained 50 in 133 balls.
Australia paceman Peter Siddle, who finished the day with an economical none for 46 in 21 overs, said: "It's been hard work out there. All we can do is go out there and try to get the six wickets as quick as we can. Our consistency today was spot and I think it showed." (Read)
13:00 (IST): Ian Bell was left holding the fort for England yet again as they struggled for runs on the third day of the final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval on Friday.
England, who at 3-0 up had already won the five-match series, were 247 for four at stumps, still 245 runs behind Australia's first innings 492 for nine declared but needing just 46 more runs to avoid the follow-on.
Bell, who came into this match having scored exactly 500 runs in the series with three hundreds, was 29 not out off 110 balls in nearly two-and-a-half hours at the crease.
Meanwhile Test debutant Chris Woakes, Bell's Warwickshire team-mate, was 15 not out following a final session played under gloomy skies despite the glare of the floodlights.
England scored 215 runs in the day's 98.3 overs, the run-rate rarely rising above two an over, in a match where victory would mean they had won four Tests in a home Ashes for the first time.
But there was still something to be gained for England by denying their arch-rivals a consolation success -- Australia's last 'winless' Ashes was in 1977 -- ahead of the return series 'Down Under' starting in November.
Story first published on: Saturday, 24 August 2013 13:08 IST