England already face a fight to save the third Ashes Test after another disappointing performance on day one in Melbourne.
A period of rain before the toss led to bowler-friendly conditions for the first hour, and Australia winning the toss set the tone for the remainder of the day.
Pat Cummins removed Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley for 0 and 12 respectively, both players being victims to good deliveries, while Dawid Malan was dismissed for 14 by the same bowler just before lunch.
Yet another half-century from Joe Root gave England some hope, but a careless, unnecessary shot from the skipper was followed by similar efforts from Ben Stokes (25) and Jos Buttler (3), with only Jonny Bairstow (35) coming away with any credit from the middle order.
Having been reduced to 141-7 on what was now a scoreable pitch, Ollie Robinson (22) and Jack Leach (13) offered a brief counter-attack, but a final score of 185 all out was several levels below par, Nathan Lyon also chipping in with three wickets.
Australia attacked from the off with their reply, David Warner scoring 38 runs off 42 balls before James Anderson struck just before the close.
Nevertheless, the Baggy Greens reached 61-1 with minimal fuss, reducing England's lead to just 124, and there is a feeling that the visitors will need several early strikes on Monday just to remain competitive.