Nathan Lyon bundled out England's batsmen snatching five wickets to put Australia in control on day three of the fourth Test in Melbourne. Alaistair Cook scored a half-century but that was not enough as the visitors succumbed for a total of 179 in their second innings.
Australia began the day with 169 runs and just one wicket in hand. Brad Haddin (65) completed his 50 and Nathan Lyon (18) dragged their team's total to 204. The Aussie wicketkeeper then attempted a pull off James Anderson only to edge the ball behind the stumps into the hands Jonny Bairstow.
England began their second innings leading by 51 runs and would have hoped to put up a good total for the hosts to chase. The visitors seemed to begin well when Cook (51) and Michael Carberry (12) started the second innings brightly.
The skipper scored 51 runs and was then caught leg before wicket by Mitchell Johnson. Carberry (12) and Joe Root (15) seemed to have control over the game, but after 86 runs on the scoreboard, the left-handed batsman too was dismissed in the same manner as his skipper by Peter Siddle.
From the second wicket onwards, it was all downhill for England as Root could not reach the crease before Johnson's direct throw hit the stumps. Two balls later, Ian Bell's (0) attempted drive off Lyon, landed straight into the hands of Johnson at mid-off.
Kevin Pietersen stood firm to fight the Aussie bowlers scoring 49 runs, but could not get the support from his partners. Lyon dismissed Ben Stokes (19) while Bairstow (21) walked back to the pavilion after a Johnson delivery sliced his bat for Haddin to catch.
England now had 173 runs in their second innings and lost six wickets. Lyon struck once more, bowling Tim Bresnan for a duck. Stuart Broad (0) followed three balls later edging the off-spinner to skipper Clarke in the slips.
Pietersen tried to smash one to the boundary but his shot only found the hands of Ryan Harris at long-off to give Lyon his 101st wicket in Test cricket. Johnson claimed Panesar in the next over trapping the spinner leg before wicket leaving a target of 231 for Australia to chase in the second innings.
The visitors gave away their last five wickets for just six runs. By the end of day's play, Australia had scored 30 runs with Chris Rogers (18) and David Warner (12) leaving the Ashes winners with just 201 more runs to win.
Clarke's men managed to score only 204 in the first innings, but he will be hopeful that his side are keeping up with his promise of annihilating the visitors by finishing the game on day four.