Australia ended third day's play in the driver's seat with Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh on the crease, taking the hosts' lead to a formidable 133 runs as they ended day three at 479 for the loss of four wickets.

The Aussies started the day at 193 for the loss of two wickets with Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith still at the crease. Smith, who was close to what would have been his fourth hundred of the series, fell before lunch to a looping ball by Moeen Ali, which he could only edge back to the bowler at a score of 83.

It was just Moeen's fourth wicket of the series and the wicket against the run of play ended a 188-run stand between Smith and Khawaja, giving England some hope of making a comeback in the test. Earlier in the day, Khawaja had brought up his century in exquisite fashion, celebrating his first Ashes hundred and his first Test century at the SCG. It was Khawaja's first Test century in more than a year and a welcome return to form for the Australian.

Smith was replaced by S. Marsh, who put his head down to end the day at 98 unbeaten, only two runs away from his second century of the series. Khawaja was the only wicket to fall in the final session at a score of 171 to Mason Crane, stumped by Joe Root, giving the debutante his first test wicket. M. Marsh replaced Khawaja and also completed his half century as Australia sauntered through to the end of day three with a brilliant opportunity to end the series with a commanding 4-0 triumph.

The bowlers found it very difficult to make a good case for themselves as England failed to put any sort of pressure on the Aussies. Barring a few close calls where reviews went the way of the home side, there was nothing in the pitch for England to exploit, as they fell behind to another Aussie masterclass.