MX23RW : Monday, July 23 05:29:09

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

Live text coverage of the third Ashes Test between Australia and England in Perth.

Australia ended day two of the third Ashes Test with England in a strong position at the WACA.

England started the day well as they dismissed the hosts for 385 in their first innings, with Steve Smith finally departing for 111.

Alastair Cook (72) and Michael Carberry (43) put on 85 for the first wicket, before the latter was removed by Ryan Harris.

Australia's bowlers continued to build pressure and they were rewarded with three more wickets as England finished the day on 180-4, 205 runs behind the hosts.

Read below to find out how the drama unfolded in Perth.

2.00amHello everyone! We start another day of this Ashes series with Australia being the happier of the two teams. Steve Smith is the man responsible for that following his superb unbeaten century on day one in Perth. Can England wrestle back some control today?

2.02amSmith's (103*) partnership with Brad Haddin (55) was they key contribution yesterday. England were in control when they reduced the hosts to 143-5 but they let their standards slip late in the day as Australia closed on 326-6.

2.05amIt certainly wasn't the worst day England have had on this tour but they really needed a big start to this match as they look to fight back from 2-0 down. Smith and Johnson (39*) will start the day at the crease and they're very capable of scoring runs quickly.

2.07amEngland need to wrap up this innings quickly and they must then produce a strong display with the bat, which is something we haven't seen yet in this series. Australia will be targeting anything over 400 on a pitch which is still offering a lot of help for the batsmen.

2.10amIt was hard work for the bowlers yesterday as temperatures reached 43C in Perth. England's seamers will not want to be out there for much longer but the final four wickets will not come easily.

2.13amAt the end of today, we should have a clearer picture of how much longer this series is going to stay alive. England have to show something with the bat when they do start their innings. Another weak display and the Ashes could be Australia's very soon.

2.16amWe'll see Mitchell Johnson with the ball later but his performance with the bat alongside Smith in the first session could be a big factor. Australia will know that these two can help them to a score of around 450 if they are given the freedom on a flat pitch.

2.18amEngland's bowlers tired late on day one but they were impressive early on. Graeme Swann took two wickets on a pitch that didn't turn much and Stuart Broad added two of his own. Ben Stokes, who bowled well in just his second Test, removed the dangerous Brad Haddin.

2.22amBowling coach David Saker expressed his disappointment after day one. He told reporters: "We pride ourselves at being able to restrict scoring and we weren't able to do that. We had a chance, but we weren't able to take it."

2.23amPlay is just over five minutes away at the WACA and it promises to be another very hot day. As always, the first session will be crucial, with Australia looking to edge past 400.

2.26amAustralia can take another step closer to regaining the Ashes today. If Johnson produces his best form on one of the quickest pitches in world cricket, it will be more tough viewing for England supporters.

2.29amCook has one final word with his players before setting his first field of the day. Good crowd out at the WACA and they're eager to see some fireworks early on. James Anderson will bowl the first over of the day. Smith on strike. Play!

AUS 326-6England bowled too short yesterday to Smith, who seemed to punish every loose delivery sent his way. Anderson doesn't make the same mistake in the first over of the day. It's a maiden from the seamer. Smith 103 Johnson 39*


AUS 326-7Perfect start to the day for both England and Broad. Johnson is surprised by some extra bounce as the ball catches the edge on its way through to Prior. Crucial wicket for the tourists.

AUS 326-7Peter Siddle comes in for Australia and he can certainly impress with the bat in hand, as he showed during the tour of India earlier in the year. It's a very good start from Broad, who is on target throughout a wicket maiden. Cook will be delighted with both of his seamers early on.

AUS 332-7Smith finds the first runs of the day with a push through the covers for two. The centurion then takes a risk when he goes after the wider one from Anderson, with the ball only just missing the edge. Anderson catches the outside edge late in the over but the ball drops short of the slips before racing away for four.

AUS 336-7Close! Broad mixes it up well in the over as he follows as a short one by going in search of the outside edge, which he does find. Luckily for Siddle, the ball sails through the gap between third slip and gully before reaching the rope. Just four from the over.

AUS 338-7Smith is forced onto the front foot by Anderson as he drives through extra cover for two. The slips get excited when the ball cannons into the pad off an inside edge. REVIEW! There's a clear noise when Anderson nips one through Smith's defence. No movement from the umpire but Cook decides it's worth a review...


AUS 339-8England get the wicket! It looks like there's a very faint touch on Hotspot and Snicko then suggets that there was an inside edge involved. Smith seems furious, but he must depart. Superb innings and he deserves the applause. Great start for England. Harris is the new batsman and he gets off the mark with a single.

AUS 350-8Close! Missed chance for England. Australia's number 10, Harris, is given a life when he edges one wide of Root at third slip. Cook needs to have another man in there for these two. REVIEW! England think they have a ninth wicket when Bell takes a catch at gully. Billy Bowden shakes his head and he's proven right when Cook's review shows the deflection came off the thigh pad. Harris then collects three runs with a push down the ground, before Siddle takes advantage of the gap in the slips to reach the rope. England being punished for their negativity.

AUS 351-8Jonny Bairstow, on the field for Broad, does superbly well to block a firm drive from Harris. Big swing and miss from Australia's number 10 when Anderson fires one in short. Harris finds another run to third-man with a thick outside edge. Good over.

AUS 352-8Cook doesn't seem to be thinking straight this morning. Bell is taken out of the gully and put at extra cover. What happens next? Broad catches a thick edge and the ball travels through the air wher Bell would have been. England missing some good chances to wrap up this innings. Siddle 8 Harris 10*

AUS 354-8Harris, who caused damage to England in Adelaide, opens the blade to push a couple of runs through the off-side. Broad sends down a bouncer to beat the bat when Harris attempts a wild hook.


AUS 354-9Cook has a man at gully on this occasion and it's Root who takes the catch off a thick edge from Harris. Anderson has his second wicket of the innings. Just Nathan Lyon left and he edges his first ball just short of the slips.

AUS 360-9Shot! No fielders in the deep and Broad is punished for a short ball as Siddle pulls to the rope for four. A loft down the ground for two completes the scoring for the over. Cook and Carberry will be thinking of batting now. Will Johnson steal the show again?

AUS 364-9Shot! This Australian tail can bat. Lyon looks like a top order batsman when he leans forward to drive Anderson past mid-off for four runs. Root does well to stop the ball when Lyon edges the ball short of the slips. Just the boundary from the over. Siddle 14* Lyon 4

AUS 366-9First change of the morning as Stokes comes on to replace Broad. There's some movement for the seamer as he beats the bat when Siddle goes after a wider one. Stokes does find the edge later in the over but the ball races wide of second slip for a run. Another single makes it two from the over. Time for a drinks break.

AUS 366-9England have been very good in the first hour of the day but they need to wrap up the innings soon. Lyon and Siddle can both add some precious runs if offered the chance. Tim Bresnan is on for his first bowl today.

AUS 370-9Bresnan mixes up his length as he looks to cause a problem for Lyon, who displays very good timing again to drive four runs down the ground. The wait for the 10th wicket goes on.

AUS 379-9Siddle nudges Stokes into the leg-side to rush a single at the start of the over. The edge is found again but it's more frustration as the ball races to the rope. Shot! Are we sure that's Nathan Lyon out there? Australia's number 11 scores four more with a superb drive throught the covers. Siddle 16* Lyon 17

AUS 384-9A push past wide mid-off earns Siddle a couple, before a slog brings two more through square-leg. Bresnan goes straighter but he concedes another run on the leg-side. Lyon fails to pick the bouncer late in the over and the ball crashes into the helmet. He's fine to continue after a change of equipment.

AUS 385-9Siddle gets off strike at the start of a new over. Stokes produces a beauty that gets some extra bounce to beat Lyon's outside edge. Lyon survives and the frustration continues for England.


AUS 385Siddle nibbles at a wider one from Bresnan and he pays the price as Prior takes the catch off the outside edge. England would have liked to have wrapped the innings up sooner but they must focus on batting now.

3.59amCook and Carberry will return with the bat in just a few moments. England simply cannot afford another poor batting display, or the Ashes could be over. The openers have around 30 minutes in the session to see off the first spell.

4.01amAustralia will be pretty happy with 385. The average first innings score on this ground in Test cricket since 200 is 339, so those late runs from the tail could prove to be vital.

4.02amJohnson has got one hand on that man of the series award. Can he do it again on his home ground? He caused mayhem with the ball three years ago against England at the WACA.

4.05amNo excuses for England. It's a very good pitch and there are plenty of runs to be scored. The tourists need Cook and Carberry to cash in. Clarke leads his side out to a great reception. Harris will bowl the first over. Cook on strike. 25 minutes until lunch. Play!

ENG 0-0Close! Cook plays when he doesn't need to and he's almost in trouble as Harris sends one past the outside edge. The England skipper misses out down the leg-side, before being denied a run by Bailey at short-leg. Excellent start from Harris. Maiden over.

ENG 9-0Big cheers around the ground as Johnson's name is announced at the start of his opening spell. Four slips in place. Carberry gets behind the line well to block the first ball. Shot! Carberry gets off the mark with a superb drive through the covers for four runs. A nudge to mid-wicket hands the strike to Cook and Johnson is punished for a no-ball, too. Cook picks up his first three runs with a thick edge through third-man for three. Nine off the over.

ENG 13-0Drop! Tough chance missed for the hosts when Cook, who is trying to work the ball into the leg-side, is dropped by a diving Smith at third slip. It would have been a superb catch. Cook must take full advantage. Shot! The visiting skipper leans forward to drive four runs straight past Harris. Cook 7 Carberry 5*

ENG 19-0A fumble on the off-side allows Carberry to sneak a single. Johnson, being clocked at over 90mph already, is driven by Cook past mid-off for four. A yorker follows but Cook does well to dig the ball out for another run. Six off the over.

ENG 20-0Good cricket from the two openers to hurry a run following a block from Cook. The crowd gasp moments later but Carberry hasn't played at one outside off-stump. Just one single off the over. Shane Watson is coming on to replace Johnson.

ENG 24-0LUNCH: Watson goes very full to Cook, who picks up two runs when a thick edge races away through third-man. There seems to be a hint of movement for Watson. Cook then finds two more through fine-leg. It was a good move from Clarke but there's no breakthrough for the hosts. Cook 17* Carberry 6*

4.32amEngland will be happy. They've survived a tricky spell of six overs to get through to lunch. There's a big job ahead for Cook and Carberry. Australia will be desperate for early wickets.

4.33amWe'll join the players by taking a break for around 30 minutes. Make sure you return for the second session when England, who trail by 361, will look to close the gap.

5.03amWelcome back everyone. Cook and Carberry managed to survive just before lunch, but scoring big runs is the challenge now. Australia were positive with the bat and England should play in a similar way on this pitch.

5.05amFailures with the bat could be what costs England this series. The Ashes are not lost yet, though. There's plenty of people who have a lot to prove in this innings.

5.07amWatson was the only bowler who seemed to get some swing in that six over spell before the break. Harris looked in good rhythm, while Johnson seemed to struggle for length.

5.10amWho will take the control in the second session? Australia know that a couple of quick wickets will concern for England's top order.

5.12amThe players and umpires are back out in the middle. England resume on 24-0, trailing by 361. Harris waits with the ball in hand. Carberry on strike. Play!

ENG 28-0Shot! Confident start to the session for Carberry as he reaches the rope with a powerful pull shot. Just the boundary from the over, with Harris recovering well to find a better length. Cook 17* Carberry 10

ENG 33-0Johnson immediately finds a much better length than he did in his first spell but Cook does well to push a single into the off-side. Drop! Carberry gets a life as he edges one towards the slips. Smith can't take the catch diving in front of Clarke. It wouldn't have carried to the Australian skipper at second slip. The misery is piled on when the ball races away to the rope. Two tough chances put down. Five off the over.

ENG 34-0Harris fires in a good bouncer to Cook, who awkwardly works a single to fine-leg. Carberry watches a couple of wide ones pass him but he almost gets in trouble when he swings wildly at the end of the over.

ENG 34-0Hands on head from the hosts when Cook takes a big risk as he misses with the pull shot. Good carry for Johnson. Cook pulls away from a delivery in the middle of the over and complains that a fly distracted him. No sympathy from the Perth crowd. The pace is increasing for Johnson. Maiden. 10 overs completed.

ENG 39-0Siddle is on for the first time in the innings. Carberry is sent back by his skipper when he thinks about stealing a single on the off-side. Shot! Too full from the seamer and Carberry punishes him by drilling four runs through the covers. Close! It's almost all over for Carberry. An ugly pull shot sends the ball straight up in the air. Haddin does the chasing but he can't make up the ground to take the catch. Big stroke of luck. Is it going to be England's day?

ENG 39-0Carberry thought he was out in the last over. It was a poor shot, but he must take advantage of the let off. Johnson is bowling with very good pace and rhythm now. Maiden over. Cook 18* Carberry 19

ENG 44-0Siddle is slightly too straight to Cook, who gets enough bat on ball to collect four through fine-leg. The England captain plays a similar shot a few balls later to earn another run. England making steady progress at the WACA. Will Clarke turn to Lyon soon?

ENG 53-0Lyon will have to wait as it's Watson who returns to the attack. Cook stands tall to punch three runs through the covers as the all-rounder searches for the right length early in the over. Shot! Clever play from Carberry to open the face and run a shorter one through third man for four. Carberry picks up a couple more on the off-side with a firm push, before missing a wide one from Watson at the end of the over. This is the first time England's openers have put on 50 in this series. Cook 26* Carberry 25

ENG 54-0Cook collects a single at the start of Siddle's new over. Carberry looks a bit uncomfortable as an outside edge drops short of the slips. It's difficult to tell if the Hampshire batsman was playing at that ball. Australia will remember that length. One off the over.

ENG 62-0Watson is on to build pressure for the hosts but he hasn't found his perfect length just yet. Cook wants to punish the bowler but he picks out Warner at point with a powerful cut. Shot! The punishment does arrive moments later when England's skipper drives a half-volley to the rope at cover. More runs follow as Cook sits back to cut four more past point. Great batting. Cook 35 Carberry 25*

ENG 68-0It's Lyon's turn. The spinner comes around the wicket to bowl at England's left-handed openers. Shot! Carberry adopts the Australian tactic of attacking the spinner as he comes dancing down the pitch to loft Lyon's second ball over the rope for six. Superb shot. Pressure on the spinner immediately. Just the boundary from the over.

ENG 68-0Siddle switches ends to replace Watson. Cook flirts with one down the leg-side but he can't make contact with the ball. A fuller one is there to be driven for Cook, who can only find the inside edge of the bat. It's a maiden.

ENG 72-0Lyon settles on a good length to Carberry, who defends well early in the over. Just one loose ball bowled by the spinner but Carberry takes full advantage by cutting four runs past point.

ENG 72-0A catch from Haddin down the leg-side excites the crowd but there's no bat involved from Cook, who has got himself into trouble with that shot before. It's another good over from Siddle. Maiden. Time for a drinks break. Cook 35 Carberry 35*

ENG 72-0It's been a solid start to this innings from the tourists. The ball isn't doing much and it's hard work in the heat for Australia. It remains a very good pitch at the WACA.

ENG 72-0Lyon's job is very important today. He needs to keep it tight because it's easier to score quickly off the seamers on this ground. England should be targeting the spinner. Carberry should punish a short ball but he misses with the cut on this occasion. Maiden over.

ENG 79-0Harris begins a new spell with a half-tracker, which Cook pulls away for a couple. A single is added when Cook works the ball behind square on the leg-side again. Carberry latches onto a full delivery to steer the ball to the cover boundary. Harris comes back well late in the over to beat Carberry with some good bounce.

ENG 79-0Lyon changes his pace nicely throughout the over. A quick sighting of the England dressing room shows the touring players looking more relaxed than they have been for quite a while. It's all going well right now. Back out in the middle, Lyon completes another maiden.

ENG 79-0Harris is bowling a shorter length in this spell and his pace is good as he nips one past the outside edge. Clarke might have to be careful with the seamer, who seemed to be struggling with a slight knee problem a few moments ago. Maiden.

ENG 84-0Cook drops to one knee to paddle Lyon behind square for a single. Carberry sits deep to hammer a cut shot straight to Rogers on the off-side. Lyon nearly sneaks through with a quicker ball but Carberry uses his bat well to guide four through third-man.

ENG 85-0Cook connects with the pull shot well but only earns a single.


ENG 85-1Breakthrough for the hosts! I mentioned earlier that Carberry has looked uncomfortable leaving at times and it's that indecisiveness which gets him in trouble. The opener pulls the bat away too late and the ball crashes into the stumps via a deflection off the inside edge. Root is the new batsman.

ENG 85-1Carberry needs to get that problem out of his game quickly. He'll be disappointed as he takes his pads off. Root survives the end of a very good over from Harris.

ENG 85-1Cook begins life with a new batting partner by blocking out a maiden from Lyon, who is beginning to settle well. England need to remain positve against the spinner. Cook 40 Root 0*

ENG 85-1England have collapsed too often on this tour. These two need to calm things down before the tea break, which is 30 minutes away. Good pace and bounce for Harris in the over but Root isn't interested in chasing after any wide ones. It's another maiden. Pressure on the batting side at the moment.

ENG 90-1Cook picks out Warner at backward point, before avoiding him a few moments later to pick up a single with a late cut. Lyon remains around the wicket for the right-handed Root, who fails to punish a full-toss when he pushes the ball back to the bowler. Shot! England's number three is off the mark with a lovely drive through extra cover for four.

ENG 90-1Good move from Clarke to turn to Johnson at the beginning of a new partnership. Cook has looked against the left-arm paceman so far. Johnson wants to get some eye contact going with the England captain, who responds by walking away. There's an appeal for lbw when Johnson goes very full but Billy Bowden shakes his head. It looks like a good decision and Hawkeye shows the ball would have missed leg-stump. Maiden. Cook 41 Root 4*

ENG 90-1Watson is back for a new spell and he finds some swing immediately. The ball nips past Root's outside edge to excite Haddin and the slips. We haven't seen much swing in this series but the movement continues.


ENG 90-2Watson swings the ball again and Australia celebrate when Root is given out caught behind. Root immediately shakes his head. A review follows and neither Hotspot or Snicko seem to support the decision. However, the third umpire believes that there isn't enough evidence for the decision to be overturned. Root cannot believe he's being forced to depart. It looks a very poor decision, with the only sound coming after the ball had passed the bat. Controversy at the WACA.

ENG 90-2Pietersen is the new batsman and he blocks out the final ball of the over. Jeers from the England supporters in the ground. It was difficult for the umpires but Root was convinced there was no edge.

ENG 91-2As we've been told before, there has to be clear evidence for an on-field decision to be overturned. That rule is probably the reason Root was given out. Pietersen seems to be asking the question out in the middle, too. England need to make sure that wickets don't continue to fall. Two of their big players are in. A partnership is needed. One run from Johnson's over.

ENG 91-2There is a lot of pressure on the tourists. The runs have stopped flowing since Carberry's departure. Watson is slightly too short to Cook early in the over but he almost gets a wicket with the final ball when he nips one past the outside edge. One over left in the session.

ENG 91-2TEA: Johnson fires in a sharp bouncer early in the over to get Pietersen ducking at the crease. Another short ball misses the batsman down the leg-side. An inside edge into the pad gets the Aussies excited. Pietersen will have to wait for his first run. Maiden over. Cook 42* Pietersen 0*

7.13amEngland are 294 runs behind at the tea break. The tourists were cruising with Cook and Carberry at the crease but Australia took two vital wickets to put the pressure back on. Root's dismissal will be talked about for the rest of the day at the WACA.

7.15amIt looks like we're in for a very exciting end to the day in Perth. England need to win the final session as they look to take control of the match. Australia know how important this partnership is to the tourists.

7.18amShould Joe Root have been given out? The debate will last for a long time today. It just didn't look like there was an edge but the third umpire decided there wasn't enough evidence to overturn the original decision. Root's reaction said it all. Gut feeling suggests that there was no bat involved.

7.20amEngland need to be positive after the break. Pietersen will always score quickly but he's sure to be tested by Siddle, who has a great record of getting him out. Cook needs to convert his start into a big score.

7.24amThere's a lot of runs to be scored on this pitch but there seems to be something in it for the bowlers, too. Credit goes to the ground staff. It's a very good Test match surface.

7.26amLyon and Watson have been key today. It's their bowling that creates the pressure. England can't allow those two to settle. Pietersen is likely to offer the bowlers a different challenge if he can get in.

7.29amThe players will be heading back out to the middle in a few moments. We'll know who is in control of the match at the end of this session.

7.31amEverything is in place and play is about to restart. Huge session of cricket ahead in Perth. England trail by 294. Siddle to bowl. Cook 42* Pietersen 0

ENG 93-2The breeze has certainly picked up, which might be the reason for the movement we've seen either side of the tea break as Siddle begins to shape the ball nicely. Cook starts the scoring for the session with a couple through the covers. Good over.

ENG 94-2Johnson vs. Pietersen. I think that's the battle everyone wants to see at the WACA. There's not too much drama in the over as Pietersen gets on top of the bounce well to defend against the pace. Pietersen does get off the mark with a hurried single on the off-side.

ENG 95-2Pietersen is on his toes again to earn a quick run with a push to cover. Cook flirts with another one down the leg-side. Siddle might not mind the odd boundary if he can get the England skipper nicking off with his head falling across the line. Very clever bowling from Siddle, with Cook being tested by every ball. One off the over. Cook 44 Pietersen 2*

ENG 97-2Haddin takes a great catch when Pietersen is pushed back by the bouncer but any hint of a caught behind appeal is quickly dismissed. Johnson follows the short ball with a good full delivery to keep the batsman aware of both threats. A nudge down the ground brings a single and Cook then rotates the strike again with a flick through fine-leg. Pietersen can't resist responding when Johnson has a few words following another bouncer. The England batsman is playing the short ball well.

ENG 102-2Siddle follows Johnson by firing in a bouncer but Haddin can't reach this one and five wides brings up England's century. The seamer then produces a couple of great deliveries to push the ball past Cook's edge on two occasions. It's a battle out there at the moment.

ENG 102-2Johnson is off. He hasn't taken a wicket in his last nine spells. Have England found a way to keep him out? Harris returns to immediately take one past Pietersen's outside edge. There's some good bounce as a thick edge drops well short of Warner at gully. Maiden.

ENG 108-2Siddle is eager to target Cook's pads. England's captain hasn't been at his most fluent today but he's in no mood to throw his wicket away. A miscued drive races away to fine-leg for a couple of runs. HALF-CENTURY! It's been hard work for Cook in his 100th Test but he reaches his 50 from 127 balls with four past gully. England need him to be there at the end of the day. Cook 51 Pietersen 3*

ENG 108-2Pietersen is beginning to find the middle of the bat but he's picks out the fielders at the moment. Harris isn't far away from catching the edge with a bit of movement late in the over. Pietersen has just three runs from 33 balls.

ENG 109-2Watson is back into the attack. This is a crucial period in the session as Clarke looks to find a wicket by building pressure. Cook flicks a single off his pad at the start of the over. Pietersen is encouraged to attack outside off-stump but he's remaining patient, for now. Cook 52* Pietersen 3

ENG 113-2Shot! Cook leaves well outside off-stump before being rewarded for his patience with a half-volley, which he drills to the rope for four. Great contest going on at the WACA.

ENG 118-2Pietersen finds his first run for a while with a push into the off-side. Watson settles on a good length to Cook, who gets lucky when a thick edge sends the ball to the rope at third-man. Time for a drinks break. Cook 60 Pietersen 4*

ENG 118-2It's tough out there but England need to keep working hard. Clarke will be delighted with his bowlers but he'll want a wicket soon. Johnson is back for a new spell.

ENG 123-2Close! The pressure is getting to Pietersen, who slices a drive just short of Warner at gully. Shot! Pietersen then reaches the rope for the first time when he hammers the ball past mid-off for four. That will certainly help his confidence. Haddin fails to fully stop a bouncer from Johnson, who concedes an extra.

ENG 127-2Pietersen gets off strike early in Watson's over. The all-rounder goes too straight to Cook and the opener clips three through mid-wicket.

ENG 132-2Johnson strays down the leg-side and Cook cashes in to collect four through fine-leg. The crowd is getting behind the local boy as he steams in to test the England skipper with a good short ball. Cook plays it well and picks up another run. Lyon is returning to the attack. Cook 68* Pietersen 9

ENG 136-2Shot! Cook plays the latest of cuts to guide Lyon past Warner at backward point for four runs.


ENG 136-3Big moment in this match. Cook attempts the cut again, but he miscues his effort straight to Warner on this occasion. It's a good catch and a massive wicket for the tourists.

ENG 136-3England still trail by 249 runs, so they need a big partnership soon. Cook's departure is a big blow but these two can get things back on track. Bell arrives at the crease to keep out Lyon, who has done a brilliant job for his skipper.

ENG 146-3Close! The crowd are getting excited again and Johnson catches the outside edge. Luckily for Pietersen, the ball races through a gap and brings him four. That boundary has taken him past 8000 runs in Test cricket. Great achievement, but he won't be thinking about that now. Johnson follows a couple of fierce bouncers by drifting onto the pads and Pietersen picks up four more through fine-leg. The short ball is taken on moments later and Pietersen earns two with his miscued effort over mid-wicket. Pietersen 19 Bell 0*

ENG 146-3Bell can't work the ball past Smith, who is camped in at short-leg. A firmer nudge is stopped by Rogers at mid-wicket. It's a good over from Lyon. Maiden.

ENG 146-3Good move from Clarke to bring back Siddle with England under pressure.


ENG 146-4Pietersen falls to Siddle again! It's a poor short following his hard work as he miscues a pull shot. Johnson takes a superb catch diving backwards at mid-on. That's a big blow for the tourists. Australia are on top now.

ENG 146-4Stokes, playing in just his second Test, comes to crease under huge pressure and he's immediately beaten on the outside edge. Wicket maiden for Siddle.

ENG 147-4A mixture of good bowling and some excellent fielding from Watson at extra cover helps Lyon keep it tight again. Bell gets off the mark with a single to fine-leg. Bell 1* Stokes 0

ENG 147-4It's turning into another bad day for the England fans. The tourists simply cannot afford to lose another wicket today. Siddle completes a maiden over. There's just under an hour left of play. England trail by 238.

ENG 155-4Lyon starts the over with a beauty to beat the outside edge and leave Stokes feeling for the ball outside off-stump. The spinner then drifts too far down the leg-side and concedes four byes. Shot! Stokes gets off the mark by rocking back to cut four through the off-side. Good batting.

ENG 155-4Siddle's accuracy is very impressive. It's another maiden from the seamer. Australia's bowlers have been able to keep it tight, which is something England struggled to do yesterday. Time for a drinks break.

ENG 155-4Just over 45 minutes left for Australia to claim some more wickets. Stokes and Bell need to survive.

ENG 155-4Plenty of chat around the bat aimed at Stokes, who is leaving Lyon very well outside off-stump. Haddin seems to think the ball is closer to the stumps than it actually is during the over. Maiden. Pressure on.

ENG 158-4Haddin can't claim a Siddle bouncer and the England duo take the opportunity to pick up a bye. Stokes rotates the strike again with a single through fine-leg. Bell struggles to pick the bouncer but there's no short-leg in place to take the catch off the glove. A single means Bell will keep the strike for the next over. Bell 2* Stokes 5

ENG 160-4Bell works the ball behind square for two. Watson dives to his left to stop Bell from scoring with a firm drive to cover. There's some good bounce for Lyon, who has mixed his pace very well. The spinner has conceded just 29 runs off his 13 overs

ENG 160-4Harris is back into the attack for a new spell. Stokes is finding the middle of the bat in defence, which is definitely a good sign. Scoring is difficult for the tourists, though. It's a maiden from Harris on his return.

ENG 161-4Bell just manages to avoid Smith at short-leg to earn a single. Stokes skips down the pitch but he's almost caught out, with a leading edge spinning away to safety. It's starting to turn for Lyon.

ENG 162-4Bell is solid in defence, before nudging a single to mid-wicket. Harris will be happy to have Stokes on strike but he can't find a way through. Just one from the over. Johnson will surely get one more go.

ENG 167-4Four more byes to the total when a bit of turn and bounce beats Haddin behind the stumps. Bell rocks back to steer Lyon past point for one. Stokes comes down the pitch to block again and a thick edge beats Smith at silly mid-off. Bell 5* Stokes 5

ENG 171-4Bell isn't in control of a pull shot but he still earns four as the top edge sends the ball to the rope at fine-leg. Harris shouldn't mind the batsman playing that shot at this stage. Just the boundary from the over.

ENG 179-4Shot! Stokes is eager to be positive and he comes down the pitch again to loft the ball over mid-off for four. Even better from Stokes later in the over as he picks the gap wide of extra cover with a brilliant drive for four more. Johnson is coming on. Bell 9* Stokes 13

ENG 179-4Good pace, as usual, from Johnson. Bell isn't forced to play too often, though. The only threat comes when Bell allows a bouncer to hit him in the chest. Brave batting. Well played. 66 overs down. Probably time for three more today.

ENG 180-4Watson returns at the other end. Stokes shuffles across the crease to flick a straight ball away for a single. Two men on the drive for Bell, who can't be tempted to attack by a few words from Watson.

ENG 180-4CLOSE OF PLAY: Good defence on show from Stokes as Johnson winds up the arm again early in the over. The all-rounder is dealing with the short ball impressively. Close! Johnson produces a stunning delivery to nip one past the outside edge. Too good for Stokes, but he survives. Bell 9* Stokes 14*

10.00amIt's been a fantastic day of Test cricket at the WACA. England took control early in their first innings but four wickets have fallen and it's Australia who are in command again. Can they take a step closer to regaining the Ashes tomorrow?

10.01amBell and Stokes have survived the final few overs but they need to put together a big partnership when they return tomorrow. Australia will be targeting a first innings lead.

10.04amWe've been treated to a great day of cricket in Perth. Australia end the day in charge. Make sure you come back at 2.00am (UK time) tomorrow to see if England, who trail by 205, can fight back. Goodbye.

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England's Stuart Broad celebrates taking another wicket during the fourth Ashes Test with Australia on August 12, 2013
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