Innings end Australia 9 for 662 dec (Smith 239, M Marsh 181, Khawaja 50, Anderson 4-116) lead England 403 by 259 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Australia declared at 9 for 662 in their first innings against England at the WACA, securing a lead of 259 as they aimed for a series-clinching victory over the next day and a half. The total was Australia’s highest in Test cricket since the Cardiff Test during the 2009 Ashes, when they declared their second innings at 6 for 674, and England managed to hold on for 105 overs to escape with a draw. On a cracking WACA pitch, England’s task this time will not be easy.
On the third day in Perth, England had managed one wicket in 90 overs, but on the fourth day, they plundered three wickets in the first five. Yet despite preventing Mitchell Marsh from reaching a double-century, and Steven Smith from posting a 250, England still found themselves in the field at lunch on day four as Australia batted on and on, and it was not until the ninth wicket fell after lunch that Smith called his men inside.
The early wickets of Marsh, Smith and Mitchell Starc gave England hope of running through Australia’s lower order, but Tim Paine and Pat Cummins refused to budge, and compiled a 93-run stand that continued to frustrate England. Cummins made 41, his fourth score in the forties this series, before he was lbw to James Anderson. Paine finished not out on 49 when Nathan Lyon skied a catch to give Anderson his fourth wicket.
The morning began with Smith and Marsh sitting on a 301-run partnership, but it took only two deliveries for the stand to be broken when Anderson nipped one back in to trap Marsh in front for 181. Smith added 10 to his overnight score before he too was lbw to Anderson, for 239, to a delivery that pitched in line and straightened. Smith was given not out on field, but England’s review proved a sensible one.
Later in the same over, Starc was run out when he called Paine through for a leg bye while England were appealing vociferously for another lbw; perhaps the appeal confused the batsmen, for both Paine and Starc found themselves halfway down the pitch while James Vince ran in from gully and whipped the bails off. Australia had gone from 4 for 549 to 7 for 561, but from there Cummins and Paine settled in for the remainder of the session.
Paine was given out lbw to Anderson but survived on review when ball-tracking showed it going over the top, and he played some fine shots throughout the rest of the session. Several deliveries from fast bowlers hit cracks in the pitch and jagged like legbreaks, which may not bode well for England’s batsmen, but Paine and Cummins survived until lunch.
Along the way, England became just the eighth team in Test history to have five bowlers all concede 100 runs in the same innings, and Anderson and Broad the only bowlers in history to have twice been part of such a scoreline, having also done so in that Cardiff Test of 2009. But if England find a way to produce the same result here, they won’t mind a bit.