PERTH: Unbeaten century from Australian all-rounder Steven Smith led Australia towards a determining position and ended the day at 326-6 on Friday at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth, ARY News reported.
Smith made 103* runs and was on the crease with Mitchell Johnson, who remained unbeaten at 39.
Few expected Australia to reach Perth with a chance to claim the Ashes in the third Test.
For much of a scorching day England had the chance to capitalize on Australian hubris, as six batsmen perished in a manner they would wish to forget. At one stage Australia was at 143-5 but it took Smith’s newfound judgment around off stump and relish on the pull and the drive to lift the hosts to a substantial tally, and by stumps he looked good for plenty more in the company of the juggernaut Mitchell Johnson after stabilizing the innings alongside Brad Haddin.
Their composure contrasted with the exits of Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, David Warner and George Bailey, who all had reason to hang their heads in the Australian viewing area. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann all bowled strong spells for the visitors, but there was evidence of energy being sapped as the day wound down.
Warner and Haddin also contributed by scoring half centuries, 60 and 55 runs respectively.
Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann took two wickets each.