England were given a glimmer of hope of avoiding another comprehensive Ashes defeat after James Anderson and Chris Woakes combined to take four Australian second-innings wickets under the floodlights before stumps on day three of the second Test at the Adelaide Oval.
The hosts took a commanding position after bowling out their beleaguered rivals for just 227 runs as they faltered badly chasing a target of 443, although the decision not to enforce the follow-on with a lead of 215 could yet prove costly.
Anderson swung the pink ball menacingly and secured the early dismissal of Cameron Bancroft (4), who edged behind to Jonny Bairstow.
He also trapped Usman Khawaja (20) lbw with an excellent delivery around the wicket shortly before David Warner outside-edged a ball from Woakes straight to Joe Root in the slips.
Influential captain Steve Smith (6) looked to be out for a duck after he was also caught plumb lbw by Anderson, although was saved when the DRS showed that the ball had actually pitched fractionally outside leg stump.
However, that dramatic reprieve did not last long as the world's top-ranked Test batsman failed in his bid to review another lbw shout from Woakes as Australia closed on 53-4, leading by 268 with six wickets remaining and the duo of Peter Handscomb and Nathan Lyon (both 3 not out) at the crease.
The day had otherwise been an unmitigated disaster for England, who resumed on 29-1 after losing Mark Stoneman (18) in the early stages of their reply after the Baggy Greens, who won the first Test by 10 wickets despite a competitive opening three days at the Gabba in Brisbane, had declared on 442-8.
James Vince (2) fell in the second over courtesy of a woeful shot, while skipper Root (9), Alastair Cook (37) and Dawid Malan (19) were also dismissed in the first session before Moeen Ali (25) and Jonny Bairstow (21) were caught and bowled by Lyon and Mitchell Starc respectively, the former taking an excellent diving catch.
Woakes was also caught and bowled by Starc after a determined knock of 36, while Lyon quickly cleaned up Stuart Broad (3) and Anderson (0) to finish with figures of 4-60. Starc registered 3-49, while Pat Cummins was 2-47 and Josh Hazlewood accounted for the early wicket of Vince.
Somerset all-rounder Craig Overton, who claimed Smith as his maiden Test scalp on Saturday, was a rare shining light on his debut as he reached 41 not out batting at number nine.
After the conclusion of play, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) released a statement to confirm that Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales will face no charges over the incident that led to Ben Stokes' arrest in Bristol in September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and is now available for selection once again.
"Alex Hales will now be considered for England selection, following confirmation that he is no longer a suspect in relation to an incident in Bristol in September," the ECB confirmed. "The ECB Board has convened via conference call to make the decision after being informed that Hales is deemed a witness and will face no charges.
"The independent Cricket Discipline Commission [CDC] has stayed the internal disciplinary process for both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes until the conclusion of any potential criminal proceedings relating to the incident. Players, England Selectors and the England management team have all been informed.
"ECB has also approved a formal request for a 'No Objection Certificate' [NOC] to allow Hales to play in the inaugural T10 Cricket League in Dubai from December 21-24."
Both Hales and Stokes are expected to feature in the provisional England squad for five one-day matches against Australia that is due to be announced after the second Ashes Test, although it remains to be seen if either will play.
Christchurch-born Stokes, who is currently in New Zealand visiting family and scored two runs while failing to take a wicket on his debut for Canterbury on Sunday, is still waiting to discover if he will be charged after Avon and Somerset Police passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last week.