Australia turn the heat on England

Australia turn the heat on England

Husseys century puts Pontings men in control

Australia turn the heat on England

Hussey's 116, as his batting partners fell like dominoes, propelled Australia's second innings to 309 and set England a mammoth 391-run chase with two days to play.

England lead the five-Test series 1-0 and had hoped to seal the Ashes with a win in Perth, but they began their second innings poorly by losing five wickets after tea to limp to 81 for five.  Paul Collingwood was dismissed for 11 with the last ball before stumps by Ryan Harris, the Englishman nicking an edge to all-rounder Steve Smith, who took a sharp catch in the slips.

Nightwatchman James Anderson was on zero at stumps as the last-ball wicket brought raucous cheers from home supporters on a day of brilliant sunshine at the packed WACA ground.

England's highest successful fourth-innings run chase was the 332 they made to beat Australia in Melbourne in 1928. If they were to make 391 here, it would be the fifth largest run chase in Tests.

Pace bowler Harris struck first for Australia, trapping England opener Alastair Cook leg before wicket for 13 with a quick, fuller delivery before Mitchell Johnson had captain Andrew Strauss caught by Australian skipper Ricky Ponting in the slips for 15.

After two days of fruitless toil, Ben Hilfenhaus celebrated his first wicket in the Test by removing dangerman Kevin Pietersen for three, caught in the slips by Shane Watson.
Johnson picked up his second wicket of the innings when he had Jonathan Trott caught behind for 31, the ball deflecting off Ponting's hands for wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to take the catch.

Ponting, who has had a dreadful series with the bat, injured a finger in the catch attempt.

“It's clipped him on the little finger on the left hand, he's a little bit sore at the minute, but he's gone for a precautionary X-ray,” Siddle said.

“He's feeling upbeat, he's feeling good, (he's) just wanting to get it checked out but from all reports it seems all right.”

While Johnson's six-wickets helped Australia skittle England for 187 in the first innings, Hussey's latest contribution with the bat may prove equally important.

After pulling Tremlett for four to bring up his ton, the 35-year-old celebrated wildly, bolting halfway to the Lillee Marsh stand with arms aloft in celebration.

Hussey this week said he was one batting failure away from hanging up his gloves before the Ashes series, but now boasts 517 runs, his lowest score a 52 in the second Test in Adelaide.

Hussey had resumed on 24 with opener Watson on 61 after guiding Australia to 119 for three at stumps on day two. The pair compiled a 113-run stand before Tremlett trapped Watson leg before wicket five runs shy of his third Test century.

Tremlett broke through again after lunch by having Smith (36) caught behind. Haddin then played on to Tremlett for seven.