Australia on top after hard-fought day

By Matthew Sherry

Australia moved into a dominant position in the third Ashes Test after being rewarded for an industrious bowling effort at the WACA.

England made a perfect start replying to the hosts’ 385 as Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry put on 85.

Kevin Pietersen departs for a dogged 19 shortly after Alastair Cook fell for 72. England are 180 for four, 205 behind Australia

But after the latter was bowled by Ryan Harris via an inside edge for 43, Joe Root edged Shane Watson behind cheaply.

Cook continued to battle yet, having moved beyond 50, cut Nathan Lyon straight to point. His dismissal for 72 heralded further pain as Kevin Pietersen, having become the fifth England batsman to reach 8,000 Test runs, pulled Peter Siddle straight to mid-on, leaving Ian Bell and Ben Stokes to see England through to the close on 180 for four.

Earlier, with Australia resuming on 326 for six, the tourists required quick strikes. They got them as Mitchell Johnson edged Stuart Broad behind before centurion Steven Smith fell likewise to James Anderson.

Anderson backed up those efforts by ousting Ryan Harris and Tim Bresnan ended a frustrating last-wicket stand of 31, Siddle going caught behind to end the hosts’ innings.

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Evening Session

Watch highlights of the evening session from the WACA

England 1st Innings 

10am – STUMPS! England 180/4; Bell 9, Stokes 14 – Johnson beats Stokes with a beauty in the day’s final over but the youngster sees England to stumps alongside Ian Bell. Australia end the day in control but the tourists can bat their way back into the game. Join me tomorrow to see how things unfold.

9.44am – Some late impetus for England as a top-edged pull from Bell goes to the fence. Stokes follows that up with two driven fours off Lyon, one aerial and another along the ground. Both were fine strokes.

9.24am – Ian Bell and Stokes look up for the battle here. They may need to be together for a long period of time if England are to get back on track.

9.07am – Ben Stokes gets off the mark with a powerful cut through cover for four. He has a real chance to prove his worth here.

8.54am – WICKET! Pietersen c Johnson b Siddle 19; England 146/4 – That’s a big breakthrough for Australia. Pietersen, having worked so hard to get himself in and in doing so become the fifth England player to reach 8,000 Test runs, pulls Siddle straight to mid-on – where Johnson takes a fine catch tumbling backwards.

8.40am – WICKET! Cook c Warner b Lyon 72; England 136/3 – What a shame. Having done all the hard work against the seamers, Cook cuts a long-hop from Nathan Lyon straight to point.

8.29am – That’s the one Pietersen has been waiting for. Harris overpitches and the number four responds with a sublime straight drive.

8.22am – Runs are coming a little more freely again for Cook, who powerfully drives through point before edging through third man for another four.

8.03am – FIFTY! Cook (127b 6×4 0x6) – That relieves some pressure. Siddle is too short and Cook helps himself, cutting four. A subdued celebration greets his fifty; he’ll be eyeing much more.

7.55am – Wonderful over from Siddle as he beats Cook with successive deliveries and forces an inside edge. The captain survives, though.

7.50am – There’s a cracking battle shaping up between Kevin Pietersen and Mitchell Johnson here, with plenty of words being exchanged as the left-armer sends it down at 90-plus mph.

7.38am – The final session is under way, beginning with a Peter Siddle over featuring only a clipped two from Alastair Cook.

Afternoon Session

Watch highlights of the afternoon session from the WACA

7.15am – TEA! England 91/2; Cook 42, Pietersen 0 – Cook and Kevin Pietersen see England through to tea, albeit in the face of some fine bowling. They will need to bed in early this evening.

6.56am – WICKET! Root c Haddin b Watson 4; Australia 90/2 – Watson, who is finding some away movement, beats Root with a beauty – prompting loud appeals. Umpire Marais Erasmus raises his finger but the batsman immediately reviews. Technology shows no edge as the ball passes the bat but there is a slight mark on Snicko just after, with the on-field decision ultimately staying as there is not enough evidence to overturn it.

6.47am – That’s the way to get off the mark. Lyon overpitches and Joe Root leans into a beautifully-timed cover-drive.

6.32am – WICKET! Carberry b Harris 43; Australia 85/1 – Australia get their first breakthrough, Harris finding the inside edge of Carberry – who can only watch as the ball rolls back on to his stumps.

6.26am – Cracking delivery from Harris, who angles one across Carberry and narrowly beats his edge. Otherwise, these two have looked untroubled.

6.01am – The aggression continues as Nathan Lyon is introduced, Carberry advancing down the wicket and crunching the off-spinner for a straight six.

5.55am – That’s the way skipper! Back-to-back boundaries from Cook, who cover-drives and cuts Watson to the fence.

5.48am – What a glorious stroke! Shane Watson sends down a half-tracker and Carberry guides through third man.

5.42am – Peter Siddle is a little too straight to Alastair Cook, who clips through fine-leg for four.

5.21am – MISSED CHANCE! – Steven Smith shells another extremely difficult opportunity as Mitchell Johnson finds Carberry’s edge.

5.15am – England pick up where they left off as Michael Carberry confidently pulls Ryan Harris to the fence in the afternoon’s first over.

Morning Session

Watch highlights of the morning session from the WACA

4.32am – LUNCH! England 24/0; Cook 17, Carberry 6 – That’s the first test passed for England. Facing a tricky six-over spell, their openers have shown a positive approach and prospered. There will be plenty of hard work ahead.

4.21am – Cook is following Michael Carberry’s lead, hitting straight boundaries off Harris and Johnson. England seem in a positive frame of mind.

4.16am – MISSED CHANCE! – Despite the obvious attention on Mitchell Johnson, it is Harris looking the most dangerous now. He almost grabs a wicket as Cook, attempting to whip through leg, edges to third slip – where Steven Smith shells a difficult chance.

4.09am – There was swing in evidence in the opening set of six as Harris sent down a threatening maiden to Alastair Cook.

4.05am – Here we go then. Ryan Harris has the new ball in his hand.

Australia 1st Innings

3.55am – WICKET! Siddle c Prior b Bresnan 21; Australia 385 all out – There it is! Australia’s innings comes to an end as Siddle edges a gentle away-swinger behind. A tricky 25-minute period awaits England’s openers.

3.43am – More good work from Lyon as the number 11 threatens to take Australia to 400. Ben Stokes is the man to suffer, edged and cover-driven for two fours in an over. 

3.37am – That’s another fine stroke from Lyon, who this time hits Tim Bresnan for a straight four.

3.23am – Some priceless runs for Australia as Peter Siddle pulls Broad for four and Nathan Lyon drives Anderson to the rope.

3.14am – WICKET! Harris c Root b Anderson 12; Australia 354/9 – This has been a fine performance from Anderson and Broad. The former grabs a second wicket as Harris’ thick edge flies to third slip.

2.59am – REVIEW! – DRS does not work this time. A ball after edging Broad through the slips, Ryan Harris sees a delivery ricochet off his thigh pad to Ian Bell, who takes a fine catch. England send it upstairs hoping there may have been an inside edge; however, their belief proves unfounded.

2.52am – WICKET! Smith c Prior b Anderson 111; Australia 338/8 – And another one! Anderson has deserved a wicket just for his efforts this morning and gets one on review as real-time Snicko shows the faintest inside edge. Smith has to go, but what an innings.

2.47am – Frustration for England as Steven Smith edges James Anderson through the cordon for four before Peter Siddle repeats the trick off Broad.

2.35am – WICKET! Johnson c Prior b Broad 39; Australia 326/7 – It’s taken just eight deliveries for England to strike! You can see the gameplan is more conventional from a side that bowled a little too short yesterday and it pays immediate dividends. Stuart Broad pitches one up that moves away and Mitchell Johnson nicks off.

Pre-Play News 

2.25am – For England, the equation is simple: they must claim early wickets and finish Australia’s innings quickly.

2.15am – Hello and welcome to’s live coverage of day two from Perth, where the third Ashes Test is taking place. Australia are set to resume on 326 for six, with Steven Smith on 103 and Mitchell Johnson 39.

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