Live Commentary: The Ashes - Third Test, day one - as it happened

Live text coverage of the third Ashes Test as Australia look to win the series at the WACA.

Australia started day one of the third Ashes Test looking for a strong start as they went in search of the victory which would secure a series victory.

David Warner struck a fluent 60 at the top of the order after the hosts won the toss but England bowled well early on at the WACA to reduce Australia to 143-5 at one stage.

However, a partnership of 124 between Steven Smith (103*) and Brad Haddin (55) handed the control back to Australia, before Mitchell Johnson (39*) arrived late in the day to help his side to 326-6 at the close of play.

Read below to find out how England struggled to build on a good start in Perth.

2.00amThe Ashes, take three. England haven't had long to recover from the latest heavy defeat to their old rivals and the time for excuses is certainly over. They cannot afford another embarrassing loss. For Australia the task is clear. Win this Test match to regain the Ashes. It all starts again at 2.30am.

2.01amAUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND WILL BAT FIRST: Luck is on Michael Clarke's side again as he gets the better of Alastair Cook out in the middle. The hosts will bat first again. Full team news to follow.

2.02amAUSTRALIA: Warner, Rogers, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Bailey, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon

ENGLAND: Cook, Carberry, Root, Pietersen, Bell, Stokes, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson

2.04amThere was just one doubt over the Australian side ahead of this game but Ryan Harris has proved his fitness to keep his place in the team. Many people were expecting big changes to the England team, but Tim Bresnan replacing Monty Panesar is the only alteration.

2.05amRight, did you get all of that? Thanks for joining me on day one of this Test match. It's a gorgeous pitch at the WACA and it's no surprise to see Clarke elect to bat first. However, Cook will know that his bowlers will get some help early on.

2.07amThe challenge for England is a tough one, there's no doubt about that. These players have a lot to prove following to big defeats to their rivals. Australia have been the better side. Will we see the best of England in Perth?

2.09amCook and Andy Flower have resisted the urge to change the batting lineup, which means the pressure is on the top order to finally deliver in this series. Bresnan's selection seemed an obvious one and Graeme Swann keeps his place as the lead spinner.

2.10amMitchell Johnson will be licking his lips at bowling on one of the fastest pitches in world cricket, but he'll have to wait for his turn. Stuart Broad, in particular, should be looking forward to bowl on this pitch.

2.11amIt's been a dream start to the series for Australia. Everything has gone perfectly for Clarke and his side. However, they know that a couple of bad days will open the door for England. A victory in this match secures the urn. A loss could make things very interesting.

2.14amCongratulations are in order for both Clarke and Cook. The two captains are making their 100th appearance in Test cricket. It's a great achievement. Who will be the happy skipper in five days?

2.15amClarke: "It's special to represent Australia 100 times but my focus is on having success in this Test, we have a lot to focus on. It's a very good wicket and it will do a bit this morning but it will play well. We're in a good position in the series but we both start on zero today."

2.17amCook at the toss: "We have bowled pretty well in the first innings of all these games. We would like to have batted, it feels like a batting day, but we can't use it as an excuse."

2.19amEngland need to pick up early wickets. David Warner and Chris Rogers have contrasting styles with the bat but both will be threatened in the first hour. If the hosts enjoy a good session, batting will look a lot easier later today.

2.21amClarke is greeted by a few Australian legends as he walks out to receive a special cap on his 100th Test appearance. The rest of the players follow closely behind.

2.24amBoth national anthems are played as the ground begins to fill up nicely. It's a big, big day in this series. The atmosphere is building at the WACA.

2.26amIf England aren't up for this game, they never will be. Australia will be desperate to produce another brilliant display as they look to wrap up the series. The action is just moments away.

2.29amThe players, umpires and fans are all ready. James Anderson is going to bowl the first over of the match. Rogers on strike, Warner waiting patiently. Big first session ahead. Play!

AUS 2-0The bounce is clear early in the over but it's important for the bowlers to not bowl too short. Rogers is alert enough to duck a bouncer from Anderson. The Middlesex ace, trusting the pitch, leaves well before nudging the first run into the leg-side. Anderson then goes too straight to Warner, who clips a single to fine-leg. Steady start. Broad's turn from the other end.

AUS 13-0Broad surprises Warner at the start of the over by targeting the ribs from over the wicket. A flick behind square on the leg-side hands the strike to Rogers, who is greeted by a short-leg, with Ian Bell sticking the helmet on. It's a confident response from Rogers as he clips a couple of runs through mid-wicket. Broad continues to struggle with his line and length as Rogers takes advantage to whip four more runs off his toes. It's a poor start from Broad and he concedes another boundary to fine-leg.


AUS 13-1What a start! Rogers nudges the ball into the leg-side and he's punished for a brief moment of hesitation as he considers a single. Anderson picks the ball up and turns to hit the stumps, with Rogers well short of his ground. It's a superb piece of fielding. England needed that.

AUS 15-1Anderson starts a new over full of confidence following that excellent piece of fielding to dismiss Rogers. Shane Watson is the new batsman and he might be concerned about that big step forward to Anderson with the ball moving in the air. Australia's number three leaves a couple before getting off the mark with a single on the leg-side. Anderson fires in a bouncer but he's punished for a wide. Warner 2 Watson 1*

AUS 17-1That run out probably did Broad a favour in the last over because he started very poorly with the ball. He's too straight again to Watson, who collects two to Bresnan at fine-leg. Superb! Watson finds the middle of the bat with the drive but Anderson dives to his left to somehow stop the ball racing away to the rope. Broad finally finds a better length late in the over. Two runs scored. Warner 2* Watson 3

AUS 22-1Close! Anderson is inches away from a wicket when Warner edges the ball onto his pads and just over the stumps. Hands on heads in the field. Warner is the next man to call for a risky single as Watson scrambles home when Pietersen misses with the throw. I think the batsman would have been safe. More frustration for Anderson as he finds the perfect length to catch Watson's outside edge, with the ball dropping short of the slips before running away for four. Five from the over.

AUS 31-1Warner picks out mid-off with a drive at the start of the over before going much straighter with the next shot to earn four down the ground. Broad goes too short and the opener responds by pulling four more to the rope. Short-leg is removed by the bowler. Nothing wrong with the field, just a poor delivery. A push into the off-side allows Warner to get off strike. Broad hasn't looked right early on. Will Cook turn to Bresnan soon?

AUS 41-1Anderson comes around the wicket to begin the seventh over and his change of angle is greeted by a superb straight drive to the rope from Warner. A slightly shorter length ball is pushed through the covers for a couple more. Warner blocks the next two deliveries before punishing a half-volley by drilling four runs through the covers. England will be concerned about the amount of runs being leaked. Warner 22 Watson 7*

AUS 45-1No surprise from Cook as the ball is thrown to Bresnan for the first time today. It's more of the same from the hosts as Watson drives the first ball of the over through extra cover for four. Decent response from Bresnan to send down five dot balls after the boundary.

AUS 45-1Anderson produces a beauty to send one past Warner's outside edge early in a new over. The opener is trusting the bounce at the WACA as he continues to leave well. England's top order must follow this example. Good over. It's a maiden.

AUS 52-1Bresnan's main task is to take wickets, but he's also in this side to build pressure. Watson makes sure that the pressure is on the bowler when he cuts a wider one over the slips for four. Australia's number three takes his side past 50 with a loose drive through cover for three. Runs coming very quickly for the hosts. Warner 22 Watson 18*

AUS 52-1There's another change coming. Ben Stokes will have to wait as it's Broad who will return to the attack.


AUS 52-2The change of ends does the trick! Broad finds the perfect length to Watson, who can only get an edge when attempting a loose drive. Swann takes a very good catch above his head at second slip and England have their second wicket. Clarke comes out to the crease.

AUS 53-2No surprise to see Bell come back in at short-leg for Clarke, who doesn't have the best of records at the WACA. The Australian skipper gets off the mark with a quick single on the off-side. Warner 22 Clarke 1*

AUS 57-2Bresnan hangs a couple outside off-stump before being nudged into the leg-side by Clarke for one. Warner stands tall to punch three through the covers, with Carberry doing the chasing to prevent a boundary. Clarke then ducks a sharp bouncer. I'm sure that won't be the last one. Time for a drinks break.

AUS 57-2England will be delighted to have picked up two wickets in the first hour of the day. Considering the bowling hasn't been superb, having Clarke at the crease is a big bonus. Cook knows that this partnership is key, though. Warner and Clarke are in very good form. They'll score quickly on this pitch.

AUS 69-2Warner displays good timing after the break to push three runs through the covers. Broad strays down the leg-side to give Prior no chance as the returning Billy Bowden signals four leg-byes. Shot! It's all bat one ball later as Clarke hammers four runs down the ground. Warner swings hard, and misses, late in the over. 12 runs added to the total. Warner 28 Clarke 7*

AUS 73-2Close! Slice of luck for Clarke as an inside edge cannons onto the pad, with the ball rolling away to safety. Bresnan sticks to a pretty good length but he can't prevent Clarke from picking up four more runs down the ground.

AUS 73-2Good bouncer from Broad early in the over to make Warner think twice about playing the hook shot. The seamer mixes his length well to force Australia's opener to curb his attacking instincts, for now. Maiden over.

AUS 77-2Stokes is on for the first time today as Cook rotates his seamers again in the heat at the WACA. It's a poor start for the Durham all-rounder as Clarke drills the second ball, which is a full-toss, to the rope for four. Stokes responds well to push Clarke back in his crease with some sharp bowling. Just the boundary from the over.

AUS 85-2Shot! Excellent batting from Warner as he stands tall to guide a Broad short ball over the slips and to the rope for four runs. It gets even better later in the over when the opener drives a perfectly fine delivery through extra cover for another boundary. Superb cricket. Warner 36 Clarke 15*

AUS 90-2Stokes starts a new over with a good delivery but the runs continue to flow when Clarke steers the ball through third-man for a boundary. The run-rate is over five at the moment, which is a concern for the tourists. A single to Clarke makes it five from this over.

AUS 94-2Bresnan returns to the attack to replace Broad. Clarke is forced to stretch to reach a wider one but he can't beat Carberry at point with the cut. Shot! Bresnan drops one short and the Australian captain takes advantage to pull four over square-leg. Just the boundary from the over. It's looking easy for these two out there. Worrying for England. Warner 36* Clarke 24

AUS 95-2Ouch! Marais Erasmus takes a painful blow to the hand when Pietersen's throw deflects off the stumps after Warner had rushed through a single. He seems to be fine, though and that is the only run scored from the over. Much better from Stokes. The temperature has crept over 40c. Is it time for Swann soon?

AUS 105-2Bresnan is left disappointed when he can only get a hand on a powerful stroke from Warner. It's a half chance at best. Shot! It doesn't get much better than a drive through extra cover for four from Warner. Australia have reached the rope 17 times in the session. Six! Warner makes it 18 when he rocks back to launch Bresnan over mid-wicket for a maximum. Stunning shot. Warner 47 Clarke 24*

AUS 105-2Shouts for a catch from the slips but a sliced shot from Clarke drops short of Carberry at point. Stokes seems to be finding a better line and length at this stage of his spell. However, Clarke and Warner look in the mood to score big today. Maiden over. 10 minutes left in the session.

AUS 106-2Swann's turn finally arrives as Cook brings on the spinner. Bell can't stop the ball at cover, which gifts Warner a single.


AUS 106-3Huge wicket for the tourists! Clarke immediately looks to attack Swann but he miscues his shot to Cook, who takes a great catch diving forward at short mid-wicket. Crucial moment in this innings just before lunch.

AUS 106-3Steve Smith is the new batsman. He's under a bit of pressure to produce a score in this match. Swann keeps it tight and he's backed up by some good fielding. It was looking good for Australia but that wicket changes everything. Great over from Swann.

AUS 107-3LUNCH: Stokes tests Warner with a sharp bouncer early in his new over but the opener avoids the danger. A sliced drive brings a single and hands the strike to Smith. Good length to the new batsman, who ends the session without a run. Warner 49* Smith 0

4.32amIt's been a very interesting first session at the WACA. Australia have scored runs at a very good rate but three wickets mean that it's pretty even as the players head in for lunch. England will be confident about striking again after the break.

4.33amWarner will be targeting another half-century after lunch as he looks to build a partnership with Smith. England need to keep the pressure on as they search for more victims.

4.34amJoin me in around 30 minutes for the second session of the day. It's going to be an exciting day of cricket.

5.04amWelcome back everyone. An intriguing first session ended positively for England as Swann took the key wicket of Clarke just before the interval. Australia are three down but with Warner at the crease they'll continue to score quickly.

5.05amIt's not been easy for England. All of the seamers have leaked runs, so 107-3 is not a bad result after one session. They'll be eager to pile on the pressure when the players return ina few moments.

5.06amSteve Smith (0*) and George Bailey are both looking for a big score in this match as they attempt to prove their worth to this improving team. Warner (49*) seems to be in full flow with the bat once again.

5.08amEngland will want another three wickets in this session. If they can get Mitchell Johnson in either before or just after tea, it will be looking very good for Cook's side.

5.10amIt's going to be Swann who starts the session with the ball in hand. Warner on strike. Play!

AUS 108-3HALF-CENTURY! Swann starts the over with a couple of flat deliveries, with Warner picking up a single off the second one to go to 50 from just 57 balls. It's been another excellent knock from the opener. He'll fancy reaching his hundred today. Smith, still waiting to get off the mark, skips down the pitch to push the ball straight to Pietersen at mid-on. Swann then gets in the way of a similar shot as the batsman's wait for a run goes on. Warner 50* Smith 0

AUS 108-3Anderson takes the 25-overs old ball from the other end. Close! England's seamer settles on a great length and he almost finds a wicket when the ball strikes the pad after a deflection off the inside edge. Good bowling from Anderson means that Swann gets another go at Smith. Maiden.

AUS 114-3Good fielding from Cook to block Smith's shot when Swann goes full early in the over. The batsman is eager to use his feet against the spinner but he's struggling to find the gaps. A hint of turn sends the ball past Smith, with Prior taking the ball well down the leg-side. Shot! Well, that's one way to get off the mark. Smith skips down the pitch to launch the ball over the rope for a big six. Great shot. Warner 50* Smith 6

AUS 116-3Warner doesn't find the middle of the bat with a pull shot but the ball lands in a gap on the leg-side to bring him two runs. A wider delivery invites the cut, with Carberry blocking Warner's path to the rope. Two off the over.

AUS 125-3Smith gets no run for a firm shot down the ground but he does pick up a single with a nudge off the hip. Shot! Great cricket from the hosts as Warner follows Smith's lead by lofting Swann over the top for four. Two more runs are added on the off-side. False shot from Warner when he attempts the slog-sweep but the ball lands in a gap again to earn him a couple more. Warner 60 Smith 7*

AUS 129-3Anderson goes for the headline-stealing in-swinger but Smith takes advantage of the full ball to clip four runs through the leg-side. Cook applauds when Anderson finds the perfect length to Smith, who just manages to avoid sending a thick edge to the slips. Four from the over.

AUS 129-3Swann continues but I wouldn't be surprised if Cook goes with seam at both ends soon.


AUS 129-4Swann might stay on now! England get the wicket they wanted when Warner cuts the ball to Carberry, who makes no repeat of his Adelaide mistake as he takes the catch at backward point. Big wicket for the tourists.

AUS 130-4Bailey is the new batsman and he's off the mark immediately with a single behind square on the leg-side. Australia need a partnership from these two. England must keep the pressure on.

AUS 132-4Anderson should enjoy bowling to Smith and Bailey, who both have a tendency to go fishing outside the off-stump. Bailey picks up just one run from the over when he shuffles across the crease to nudge the ball into the leg-side. Smith follows his example by collecting another. It's hard work out there, with the temperature now at 43C in Perth.

AUS 141-4Swann's spell comes to an end as Cook brings back Broad. Slightly too short from the seamer early in the over and Smith stands tall to punch three through the covers. Broad then goes too full to Bailey, who steers the half-volley to the rope for four. A thick edge beats Bell at gully and Bailey takes advantage to collect another run, before Smith works a single to fine-leg. England cannot afford to gift these two early runs. Smith 16* Bailey 7

AUS 143-4Cook makes another change, with Bresnan replacing Anderson. Smith clips the first ball of the over off the pads for two through square-leg. Bresnan hits the thigh pad when he surprises the batsman with some extra bounce. Good return for the seamer.

AUS 143-4Bailey crouches down on a couple of occasions when Broad starts a new over with two sharp bouncers.


AUS 143-5Broad strikes with the third bouncer! Bailey attempts a wild pull shot and he picks out Pietersen, who holds his nerve to take a very good catch at deep square-leg. Good captaincy from Cook to bring in a third slip and put the idea of a fuller ball in Bailey's mind. Brad Haddin in next.

AUS 144-5Haddin avoids Bell at short-leg to get off the mark with a single. One of these two need to go big for the hosts, maybe even both of them. Great over from Broad.

AUS 144-5Lovely line and length from Bresnan to keep Haddin on the defensive throughout the over. It's a maiden. Will Broad go at Smith with the short stuff?

AUS 148-5England look fired up out there. Broad seems to be bowling with nice rhythm now as he breezes through an over to Smith, who resists the urge to attack a shorter ball early on. A maiden over is ruined when Smith plays an excellent pull shot for four.

AUS 153-5Shot! Bresnan goes too full outside off-stump and Haddin cashes in to drive four through cover. Both of these men will punish the bad ball. Close! Big, big stroke of luck for Haddin. Just like Bailey before him, Haddin completely miscues the pull shot but the ball lands short of Broad in the deep. Five from the over.

AUS 154-5Interesting few moments at the WACA. Stokes is about to come on for a new spell but Broad pleads with Cook to give him another over. The skipper grants the request and a wicket almost arrives when Haddin awkwardly gloves a bouncer just short of the slips. Prior does superbly well to take a bouncer above his head and make sure Broad only concedes a wide. Close! Haddin breathes another sigh of relief when the ball just misses the off-stump after hitting both the inside edge and the thigh pad. Billy Bowden manages to forget about the wide and calls for drinks early. Well, it is hot out there. Great over from Broad.

AUS 154-5England will be absolutely delighted and rightly so. However, they need to keep the pressure on the hosts because we've seen the damage that Haddin can do in this series. Australia are in a spot of bother, but they've got the batting to recover.

AUS 159-5There's been a big problem with people walking behind the bowler's arm today, which is why only 39 overs have been bowled so far. Bresnan attempts to surprise Smith with the yorker but the batsman does well to clip three runs through mid-wicket. A good bouncer follows to Haddin, who allows the ball to hit his shoulder. Haddin then nudges a single through fine-leg. Terrible execution of the pull shot from Smith, who ends up taking one hand off the bat. Luckily for him, a single is the end result. Smith 26* Haddin 7

AUS 164-5Broad's spell comes to an end after the drinks break as Stokes returns. Smith nudges the first ball into the leg-side for a single. Stokes finds a good line to Haddin outside off-stump but he needs to be slightly fuller. There's a big gap in the slips and Haddin takes full advantage to collect four through third-man late in the over.

AUS 164-5Much better over from Bresnan as he keeps Smith honest outside off-stump to complete a maiden. England will be happy to build some pressure.

AUS 164-5Stokes goes very full, before firing in a good bouncer to make Haddin flinch at the crease. It's an impressive over from the Durham all-rounder, who is bowling with good pace at the moment. Maiden. Smith 27* Haddin 11

AUS 165-5Good move from Cook to bring back Swann following two maidens in a row. The spinner keeps the pressure on with a good length to Smith on off-stump. Smith ends the run of dot balls with a single at the end of the over.

AUS 174-5Smith punishes Stokes for being too full by clipping four runs through mid-wicket. It looks like it might be a plan to be full to Smith as Stokes persists with that length. Shot! Stokes drops one short late in the over and Smith shows Bailey how it's done as he pulls four more to the rope. We had a four-ball over earlier and now we've seen a seven-ball over. Wake up, Billy. Smith 37* Haddin 11

AUS 188-5Six! Brilliant cricket from Smith as he launches a maximum over long-on. A quicker one is nudged behind square for a single, before Haddin takes the opportunity to do the same. Swann concedes two more to fine-leg and Smith adds another run to Pietersen, who is now on the rope at long-on. Shouts of catch from behind the stumps when Haddin takes the aerial route but the ball beats Bresnan at mid-off. Expensive over. Smith 47* Haddin 14

AUS 196-5HALF-CENTURY! Smith goes past 50 in style as he produces another brilliant pull shot to collect four runs. Important innings on both a personal and team level. Stokes fires in another short ball and Smith repeats the trick to hammer four more to the rope. Excellent batting. Smith 55 Haddin 14*

AUS 203-5Go fetch! Haddin drops to one knee and slog-sweeps Swann over the rope for six runs to take Australia past 200. Just a single to follow the early maximum. These two are fighting back impressively.

AUS 211-5Bresnan's return to the attack almost brings a wicket when he beats Haddin's outside edge. One of the shots of the day follows later in the over when Haddin drills a perfect cover drive to the rope. It's eight from Bresnan's return when Haddin gets on top of the bounce to pull four more through mid-wicket.

AUS 213-5Swann settles on a better line to Smith, who blocks well before pushing a single to long-off. Haddin changes his gloves midway through the over and returns to nudge a run into the leg-side. Tea is under 10 minutes away.

AUS 215-5Haddin knows to get a sprint on when he takes a single to Anderson at mid-on. Smith is looking very relaxed now as he clips a run off his hip. The break is coming at a good time for England, who have just taken their foot off the gas.

AUS 219-5Smith continues to be positive against the spin but he shows a good attitude to block a decent delivery after skipping down the pitch. A single hands the strike to Haddin, who rocks back to cut three through the off-side. Smith 58 Haddin 34*

AUS 220-5TEA: Haddin has no intention of spoiling his hard work just before the break. Just one run taken off the final over of the session. This innings is delicately poised. Smith 58 Haddin 35*

7.14amEngland can be proud of the work they've done today but they'll be worried about the current partnership. As always, the runs are flowing at the WACA and the current batting duo look eager to take advantage. Smith and Haddin will back themselves to take advantage in the final session.

7.16amHaddin and Smith have put on 77 so far for the sixth wicket and it's come at a crucial time for the hosts. Bailey and Warner were both dismissed playing poor shots, which gave England a lot of confidence midway through the second session.

7.19amIt's been a good day for England so far but Cook will know that they need to build a big first innings lead as they look for a win to put the pressure on the hosts. England probably don't want Australia to pass 300. It's a tough ask.

7.22amSmith will be desperate to record a century today. It's clear that the selectors like him at number five in the batting order but he has to deliver with runs when Clarke fails with the bat.

7.24amIt's an important sesion ahead in this game. Both teams will be desperate to end the first day in control. England will fancy dismissing the hosts if they can make a breakthrough just after the tea break.

7.30amThe players are back out in the middle for the final session. Cook has a long chat with his players before setting the field Swann will begin proceedings with the ball in hand. Haddin, who now averages over 100 in the series, is on strike. Play!

AUS 221-5Swann bowls a slightly quicker over than what we've been seeing from him today. It's a good start to the session for the spinner. Just one run scored. Anderson will take the ball from the other end. Smith 58 Haddin 36*

AUS 225-5Superb shot from Haddin as he continues his fine form with a back-foot drive for four runs. Anderson responds well to the early boundary as he forces Haddin to defend a much fuller length.

AUS 229-5Wow, this is pretty impressive stuff from Smith as he dances down the pitch to hammer four through extra cover. The batsman is content with the early boundary as he proceeds to block out the rest of the over. Smith 62 Haddin 40*

AUS 236-5Haddin sits deep in his crease to pull Anderson away for a single. Smith plays a similar shot for two. Prior asks the umpires to have a look at the ball, which they do, but both decide there's no need for a replacement. Shot! Too short from Anderson and Smith drills another pull shot to the rope. England desperately need a wicket, or this session will be a very difficult one.

AUS 238-5Swann is too tight to the pads and Haddin nudges a run into the leg-side. Smith shuffles across his crease to rotate the strike again with a push to mid-wicket. Australia are still cruising at just over four runs an over. Smith 69* Haddin 42

AUS 238-5Smith leaves well outside off-stump throughout Anderson's over as the seamer sends down a maiden to stop the flow of runs. Clarke is keeping busy as the cameras show him handing out cold drinks to some supporters. It's a very hot day. Nice touch.

AUS 246-5Swann comes around the wicket to start a new over. Haddin beats Root at short-leg to pick up a single. Shot! Smith advances down the pitch again to power four more runs through extra cover and bring up the 100 partnership. Broad does well on the boundary to prevent Smith from reaching the rope with a clever sweep shot. Eight runs in total from the over.

AUS 246-5Much better from Anderson as he forces Smith to curb his attacking instincts for now with a maiden over. Cook needs to find a wicket soon.

AUS 246-5There's some more good news for Australia coming out today. Michael Clarke has been named the ICC cricketer of the year and the Test player of the year. However, Cook is the captain in the Test team.

AUS 254-5Swann's spell comes to an end as Cook throws the ball to Bresnan. Seven fielders on the off-side, so it looks like England are going to bowl a bit wider and look to encourage the loose drive. Six! Not wide enough from Bresnan. Haddin stands still at the crease and launches the ball over the rope down the ground. Stunning shot. 50! Haddin looks for another maximum but the ball plugs on landing and he runs twice to pass 50 for the fourth time in a row in this series. Australia taking charge at the WACA.

AUS 258-5Cook turns to his in-form bowler as Broad returns to the attack. Australia may have been expecting a short spell of bouncers but it looks like the tourists will continue to search for a way to slow the run-rate. Smith picks the gap in a packed off-side to collect four with a fine drive. Just the boundary from the over. Play can go on until 10.00am (UK time) today. Smith 80 Haddin 51*

AUS 259-5Close! Bresnan cannot believe it. Haddin top edges when attacking a wider one and it looks like he'll be caught. However, Carberry doesn't seem to pick it up in the deep and he can't make up the ground to take the catch. Haddin breathes a sigh of relief. Just one off the over.

AUS 260-5Two men out on the hook suggests that Broad will go short now. Haddin clips a single off his hip to make it to the non-striker's end. Broad seems reluctant to deliver a bouncer to Smith, who has played the short ball very well today. The bouncer does arrive, but Smith easily avoids any danger. Time for a drinks break.

AUS 260-5The drinks break goes on for a bit longer than usual because of the difficult conditions. Bresnan continues his spell but the seamer is still waiting for his first success of the day as Haddin blocks out a maiden over. The second new ball will be available in 14 overs.

AUS 264-5Shot! Smith isn't going to say no to a gift at this stage. Broad is too short and too wide, allowing Smith to edge closer to three figures with four past point. Just the boundary from the over. England looking very flat at the moment.

AUS 264-5Both of these players are proving just how good this pitch is once you get in. The ball is coming on nicely and there's no demons in the surface. Bresnan completes another maiden over to Haddin.

AUS 266-5Stokes is back for a new spell as Broad is given a rest to prepare for the arrival of the second new ball. It's important Stokes doesn't leak too many runs. Just a couple of singles picked up by the hosts. Australia in control at the moment.

AUS 267-5Haddin is forced to stretch to guide a single through third-man. England are slowing the run-rate but the seamers are struggling to threaten at the moment. Smith, in particular, seems reluctant to take a risk so close to a century. Smith 85 Haddin 55*

AUS 267-5Cook is applauding at slip as he looks to encourage one final big effort from his players late in the day. Stokes delivers a few good balls to Haddin, who is taking a risk by defending away from his body on the back foot.


AUS 267-6England make the breakthrough! Stokes delivers a short one to Haddin, who miscues a pull shot and picks Anderson out at mid-wicket. There's a brief moment of worry when the umpires check the no-ball but a replay shows Stokes got something behind the line. Important wicket.

AUS 268-6Mitchell Johnson is the new batsman and he ends the over by nudging a single into the leg-side. England know that Johnson can score very quickly if given the chance.

AUS 272-6England are on the attack now as Cook packs the slips for Johnson, who ducks under a sharp Bresnan bouncer. Close! Johnson goes after a wider one and he's agonisingly close to edging one to Prior. Much more convincing from Johnson later in the over as he stands tall to power four runs through the covers. Smith 85* Johnson 5

AUS 276-6Smith gets on top of the bounce to pull a single to deep square-leg. Stokes fires in a bouncer but it heads over Johnson's head and the umpire signals a wide. Prior does well to collect the ball following a deflection off the thigh but Australia still manage to sneak a leg-bye. Another pulled single makes it four from the over.

AUS 277-6The new ball is just seven overs away but Cook thinks it's time for Anderson to come back on. Smith drills a drive straight to the fielder at cover but he finds a single on the leg-side when Anderson goes too straight. Decent over. Just one run scored.

AUS 281-6Stokes is bowling very well in this spell and he's not offered an inch to Smith, who is not scoring as fluently as he was earlier in the session. However, a clip off the toes does bring a couple of runs. Can Smith reach his hundred? Smith 91 Johnson 6*

AUS 285-6Anderson's spell lasts just one over as Swann returns to the attack. Johnson isn't comfortable defending against the spin and his weakness is shown when he edges the ball past slip to pick up three runs. Smith blocks well before adding another run down the ground. Swann will fancy dismissing Johnson but he'll have to wait. Time for another drinks break.

AUS 285-6There's around 45 minutes left in the day. England will want to take more wickets before the close of play as they look to take control. Smith's role is key from here.

AUS 293-6Close! Stokes catches the outside edge but, luckily for him, the ball drops short of Cook at first slip. So close to another wicket for England. Shot! Smith gets back to business with a beautiful drive down the ground for four runs. CENTURY! Smith goes to three figures in style as he pulls the ball through mid-wicket for another boundary. It's been a superb innings from the young man, who records just his second Test century. He deserves the applause. Well played, Smudge.

AUS 298-6Swann loses his length and Johnson rocks back to cut through point for four runs. Close! Johnson walks away to have a word with himself after being beaten on the outside edge. Just one more run added. Smith 100 Johnson 14*

AUS 302-6Joe Root is into the attack for the first time with the new ball just a couple of overs away. Johnson greets his old friend with a lofted shot down the ground for four runs. Australia past 300 in style.

AUS 304-6Just over 30 minutes left in the day. Swann keeps it tight in his over again, conceding just two runs. The new ball is available. England are going to take it immediately. Broad is returning to the attack.

AUS 305-6Broad goes short early on to Johnson, who drags a single down to fine-leg. The new cherry brings some nice carry through to Prior behind the stumps, but there's no threat to Smith. One off the over.

AUS 308-6England really need to strike in this spell before the close of play. Anderson starts his over by conceding a single to Johnson, before a thick edge earns Smith a couple through third-man. The centurion isn't happy with himself when he flirts with one down the leg-side. Three from Anderson's over.

AUS 313-6Broad is too full to Johnson and he's punished as thick outside edge races to the rope at third-man. A pull shot brings the man of the series so far a single. No mistakes from Smith, who will be desperate to be not out at the end of the day.

AUS 314-6Johnson seems to have settled at the crease now. England will be concerned about his presence because he can pile on the runs in the morning. Anderson gets one to hold its line and beat the outside edge. Johnson survives to collect one off the over. Smith 103 Johnson 27*

AUS 323-6Johnson takes on a sharp bouncer and he's lucky not to deliver an edge to Prior. Another short one follows, but it's the middle of the bat that greets this one as Johnson brings up the 50 partnership with a boundary. Shot! Wow. Johnson is determined to steal the show again as he steps away to loft four over extra cover. One more run makes it nine from the over. England are looking tired out there. Smith 103 Johnson 36*

AUS 324-6Anderson decides it's not worth copying Broad's short ball tactic as he goes much fuller throughout the over. There's just one run available to Johnson on this occasion. Time for one more over.

AUS 326-6CLOSE OF PLAY: Broad looked like he was ready for bed in the last over, so it's no surprise to see Bresnan return to bowl the final six deliveries. Solid cricket from Johnson, who collects two runs off the over. He'll be back tomorrow alongside the star of the day, Steve Smith. Smith 103* Johnson 39*

10.03amEngland might feel that they've missed their chance today. Australia were on the ropes at 143-5, but Smith's superb 103* has handed the control to the hosts. His partnership with Haddin changed the momentum.

10.04amNever judge a game until both teams have had a go with the bat. Australia will start day two in a very good position but this game is not out of England's reach. It's a great pitch and there's still a lot of runs to be scored.

10.06amCould England have done more? Are Australia now favourites to win this match? It will all become much clearer on day two, with our coverage starting at 2.00am (UK time).

10.07amThanks for joining me on an enjoyable first day of this third Ashes Test. Make sure you come back for more on day two. Goodbye.

Australian captain Michael Clarke receives a standing ovation as he leaves the field following his dismissal for his 148 run innings against England during day two of the second Ashes Test cricket match in Adelaide on December 6, 2013
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