The overnight partnership of Matt Prior and Stuart Broad proved fruitful as the England paceman unleashed several beautiful strokes en route to a quick fire 32.
Nathan Lyon, whose poor figures needed some redemption in the wicket column, was finally rewarded for a solid morning spell, finding the edge of Broad.
The Englishman turned on his heal and marched off the pitch before umpire __ had a chance to raise his finger.
Graeme Swann provided an entertaining cameo, blasting Lyon for six over the bowler’s head, before inside edging one that nipped back from Peter Siddle.
Jimmy Anderson and Prior put together a frustrating last wicket partnership, which, while not particularly fruitful in terms of the scorecard, took up valuable time.
The match now rests on two things, the discretion and tactics of Michael Clarke; how brave will the Aussie captain choose to be in setting a score for England to chase; and, potentially more decisively, the weather.
Australia have already played their card, moving David Warner up the order to open with Chris Rogers.