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Cook fails again as Harris strikes
Alastair Cook and Joe Root shared their first half-century stand of the Investec Ashes but the England captain's search for a major score goes on after he was dismissed for 25.
Despite winning three of the first four matches, England's top two had struggled for a decent partnership but set about putting that right at the Kia Oval.
Responding to Australia's 492 for nine declared - and resuming on 32 - Cook and Root reached 68 without loss at drinks, only for the former to nick Ryan Harris three balls after the restart without a run being added.
He has a top score of 62 in the series and just one more innings, at most, to better that.
With 27 overs taken out of the game by rain on Thursday and more forecast for the weekend, Australia arrived in the morning knowing they required early wickets to set up what would be their first win of a disappointing summer.
But a combination of gentle seam bowling and focused batting ensured no successes in the first hour.
There were few flashes of inspiration from either side in truth, one imperious cover drive from Root the notable exception, but that suited the home side's interests as they attempted to deny their opponents the oxygen of victory.
Australia captain Michael Clarke attempted to steal a wicket with a gambler's review against Cook, but Mitchell Starc's lbw appeal fell at the first hurdle when replays showed it pitched outside leg.
When the breakthrough did come it was from the dogged Harris, pushing one across the left-hander and finding the outside edge.
Root remained in place on 35 not out and looked comfortable.