Tough going for England against unrelenting Oz

Australia

England reached stumps on day two of the third Ashes Test on 180 for four, still trailing by 205 runs, after some aggressive and tight fast bowling strangled the run rate in the evening session in Perth.

England reached stumps on day two of the third Ashes Test on 180 for four, still trailing by 205 runs, after some aggressive and tight fast bowling strangled the run rate in the evening session in Perth.

Earlier, Australia lost their final four wickets for 59 runs, with James Anderson taking two of those and overnight centurion Steve Smith unable to add more than eight runs to his score. But a wagging 11th wicket stand pushed the score to 385 all out.

England's chase started off well, with a near-century opening stand, before Australia struck repeatedly and took advantage of some controversial umpiring thanks to DRS. They stuck to their lines and all Ian Bell and Ben Stokes could do was survive.

Australia began the day on 326 for six, with Smith on 103 and Mitchell Johnson on 39. Unlike day one, England's bowlers found a bit of swing, and also pitched the ball slightly fuller, accounting for multiple edges through the slips.

Johnson was the first to depart, with the second ball of the day, and failed to add to his overnight score as he edged Stuart Broad to Matt Prior. Anderson then removed Smith soon afterwards, for 111, after resorting to a DRS call to confirm the faint edge.

The Lancashire paceman then added Ryan Harris to his tally after the tail-ender put a few quick runs on the board, with Root taking the catch in the crowded gully region.

The final wicket between Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon, who copped a bouncer to the head, added 31 to the score, with Siddle the final wicket to fall. He made 21 before edging Tim Bresnan behind to Prior, leaving Lyon unbeaten on 17.

This left England six overs to survive before lunch, and aside from a few beaten bats, Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry saw out the overs with relative ease. Cook struck two boundaries in that time, including a sweet cover drive.

The afternoon session saw the opening pair put on their highest stand of the series, going to 85 but not without a few heart-stopping moments. Cook was dropped by Smith in the slips, while Carberry survived a skied pull shot that Brad Haddin could not reach.

Carberry's luck ran out with his score on 43, as he tried to leave a Harris delivery, but his bat was angled and not high enough, resulting in the ball deflecting off his bat onto his stumps.

Root and Cook and battled for a few overs, with Root making just four off 16 balls before controversy struck. The England number three was given out caught behind off Shane Watson, but immediately sent it upstairs, saying he'd hit his pad. Evidence seemed to support that, but the third umpire didn't feel there was enough to overturn the decision.

Cook and Kevin Pietersen put on 43 runs over the next 17 overs, scratching and ducking to avoid dismissal, with Pietersen making just nine of those runs as he failed to find his feet or look comfortable.

In that time, Cook brought up his half century, a gritty knock that would have drained him mentally given the conditions and his unstable batting partner. The pressure finally got to him as he slashed at a wider Lyon delivery, caught at backwards point for 72.

Pietersen and Bell were not together long before KP departed, hoiking the ball to mid-on off Siddle for Johnson to catch. Johnson may not have taken a wicket on the day, but he was instrumental in softening the batsmen up, and his rolling catch was excellent.

Bell and Stokes then batted at snail's pace for the rest of the session, adding just 34 runs in 16 overs. Bell was on nine at the close, off 62 balls, while Stoke struck two late boundaries to take him to 14 off 43 balls.

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