The chances of a series whitewash for the Australians is now well on the cards, despite a good morning session which England 0-54 and 105 runs ahead courtesy of Alastair Cook finding some form.
But it wasn’t to last with unheralded spinner Nathan Lyon the destroyer this time.
Cook (51) fell LBW to Mitchell Johnson just after the break, then the next three wickets of Michael Carberry (12), Joe Root (15) and Ian Bell (0) fell in the space of one run to leave them reeling at 4-87.
Carberry went the same way to Peter Siddle, Root was run out by Johnson (after successfully reviewing a tight caught behind) and Bell was caught Johnson bowled Lyon for the South Aussie’s first.
Kevin Pietersen put up another fight to reach 49, but that was it as four batsmen failed to score and the last five wickets folded for six runs in a total of 179.
Chasing 231 to win, David Warner and Chris Rogers have taken Australia to 0-30 with two days to play.
Consolation for England is that no team has chased over 183 for the win but with the pitch in good nick the hosts are in the box seat.
Lyon finished with 5-50 while Johnson’s now racked up 31 scalps since returning to the side.
Australia’s torment started in the opening session when a handy 40 runs from the last wicket pairing of Brad Haddin (65, his incredible average for the series) and Lyon (18no) in support undid much of England’s good work on day two as their bowlers failed to wrap up the tail.
They’ll need to find some spark to save some face with the series already in Aussie hands.
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