England delayed the inevitable but Australia look destined to reclaim the Ashes on the fifth day of the third Test in Perth.
The tourists, trailing 2-0 in the series after heavy defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, were set a world record 504 runs to win and finished the penultimate day on 251-5 at the WACA.
|3rd Test: Australia v England at Perth|
|Australia 2nd Inns: 369-6 dec (87 ov)|
|SR Watson||run out (Bresnan)||103||169||108|
|SPD Smith||c sub (JM Bairstow) b Stokes||15||59||50|
|GJ Bailey||not out||39||41||30|
|BJ Haddin†||c Swann b Bresnan||5||14||6|
|MG Johnson||not out||0||0|
|Extras||(b 8, lb 5, w 5)||18|
|England 2nd Inns: 251-5 (67 Ov)|
|AN Cook*||b Harris||0||1||1|
|MA Carberry||lbw b Watson||31||85||53|
|JE Root||c †Haddin b Johnson||19||125||88|
|KP Pietersen||c Harris b Lyon||45||88||57|
|IR Bell||c †Haddin b Siddle||60||140||93|
|BA Stokes||not out||72||96|
|MJ Prior†||not out||7||14|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 11, w 5)||17|
Alastair Cook's men have the huge task of batting through Tuesday's final day with just five second wickets intact or relinquish their hold on the urn they have held since 2009.
Their reply got off to the worst possible start as Cook was dismissed first ball as Ryan Harris produced a beauty to clip the England captain's off-stump.
Michael Carberry and Joe Root saw the tourists through to lunch without further loss but the former was trapped lbw by Shane Watson for 31.
Root batted over two hours for 19 but was dismissed when he edged a Mitchell Johnson delivery that was angled across him and keeper Brad Haddin took a flying catch away to his right.
The visitors advanced to 95-3 at tea but lost Kevin Pietersen for 45 early in the evening session when he tried to smash Nathan Lyon out of the ground, but he only found Harris at long-on.
A promising 99-run partnership for the fifth wicket was ended when Ian Bell attempted to cut Peter Siddle but only managed to get an edge through to Haddin after making 60.
He was originally given not out but the hosts reviewed and Snicko showed a faint top edge by Bell.
Ben Stokes, who finished the day after making an entertaining 72 not out from 96 balls, and the out-of-form Matt Prior saw England through to the close without further loss but they have a mammoth task yet to come.
Earlier, Shane Watson blasted his way to his fourth Test century as Australia declared on 369-6 to give themselves 30 minutes to bowl at England before lunch.
Watson hit 74 off 42 balls in 56 minutes before being run out in comical fashion for 103 while George Bailey tied the world record for most runs in a Test over by smashing Jimmy Anderson for 28.