England's beleaguered attempt to save their Ashes campaign will continue into the final day of the third Test after rain brought play to a premature end in Perth on Sunday (17 December).

The tourists ended the day on 132/4, still 127 returns off making the hosts bat again after Steve Smith's side declared on 662-9, affording themselves a lead of 259 thanks to the exploits of their captain and Mitchell Marsh, who managed to accrue 239 and 181 runs respectively.

Australia's decision declare made England bat for the majority of the day in Perth, but the cheap dismissals of Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman (3) and Joe Root (14) ensured that the building momentum remained with the hosts, who had Mitchell Starc to thank for bowling James Vince (55), who had threatened to reach triple figures.

Starc's angled delivery changed direction unimaginably after hitting the surface and took the top off stump, leaving Vince bewildered as he was made to trudge back to the stands. There could be no complaint had of the Hampshire captain, such was the quality of the delivery from Starc.

Australia didn't need Starc's magic to dismiss Cook, Root and Stoneman, though. A low ball from Josh Hazlewood seemed to bamboozle Stoneman, whose edge was caught well by Tim Paine.

His opening partner Cook fell not long after him. The former England captain looked to attack the Aussies from the off, but his ever-so-slightly mistimed defensive shot off the bowling of Hazlewood did not go unpunished. The bowler did not need another of his teammates to help him dismiss Cook, getting down low to catch the ball just a few inches from the turf.

England managed to accrue 35 more runs before Root was sent by packing by Nathan Lyon's first delivery. Lyon found the captain's outside edge, and while he was a tad unfortunate with the catch from Smith, who reacted well from the deflection off the gloves of Paine, he must first look at himself for an ill-thought out shot that was always destined for trouble.

Vince's eventual dismissal saw first innings hero Dawid Malan team up with Jonny Bairstow for the latter stages of the session, both ending on 28 and 14 not out as the covers were inevitably utilised in Perth.

For England now, the task is simple yet difficult. The tourists must not lose at a ground where they have not won since 1978, against a side containing a number of bowlers and batsmen in peak form, if Smith's double hundred and Starc's incredible delivery is anything to go by.