David Warner punished a depleted and dispirited England with a brilliant century to help drive Australia to 235 for three and a dominant lead of 369 after the third day of the third Ashes Test on Sunday.
The hosts reached stumps with Shane Watson, who had made 29 not out, and Steve Smith, unbeaten on five, at the crease and looking well on their way to a victory which would secure an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
England's hopes of keeping the series alive by avoiding defeat at the WACA had all but melted away in the fierce morning heat when they were skittled for 251 in their first innings.
They plummeted even further when their best bowler Stuart Broad was taken to hospital for scans on an injured foot and was unable to play any part in the final two sessions.
Warner took full advantage and, revelling in the lack of pressure afforded to him by another superb performance by his bowlers, bludgeoned his way to his fifth Test century in 127 balls with 16 fours and one six.
The 27-year-old brought up the milestone by cutting Graeme Swann for a boundary and celebrated with an extravagent leap into the air and a flurry of bat pointing towards the home dressing room.
It was the opener's second hundred of the series and a sixth by an Australian batsman to none from the tourists, whose entire team has been outscored by Warner, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin.
England had their chances to stop his progress but wicketkeeper Matt Prior missed two stumping opportunities when the batsman was on 13 and 89.
They finally had their man for 112 when Warner holed out to Ben Stokes at mid-on attempting to smash Swann for a second huge six in one over.
Chris Rogers shared an opening partnership of 157 with Warner, scoring his fourth Test half-century at a more pedestrian pace before being caught for 54 by Michael Carberry at point off the bowling of Tim Bresnan.
Australia captain Clarke departed for 23 as the evening shadows crept across the sunbaked ground, bowled through the gate by Stokes. The wickets were rare high points on a miserable day for England, who had resumed in the morning on 180 for four in reply to Australia's first innings 385.
It was not much of a chase, though, and they lost their last six wickets for the addition of just 71 runs as Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle reprised their aggressive but disciplined pace assault.
Broad may bat
Broad will not bowl again in the Test after injuring his right foot but he said he might bat in England’s second innings and had not given up hope of rescuing the match.
The 27-year-old paceman also hopes that “ice and elevation” over the next 10 days will enable him to play in the fourth Test, which starts in Melbourne on Dec 26.