Steve Smith
Steve Smith led Australia past the 200-mark as they pursued England's 403 all out


  • Hosts close day two trailing by 200 runs after captain's unbeaten 92 helps them reach 203 for 3.
  • Jonny Bairstow joined Dawid Malan in adding a century before the latter's dismissal sparked an ugly collapse.
  • England lost six wickets for 35 runs off just 51 balls in a disastrous 48-minute spell.

Steve Smith produced another masterful batting display as Australia closed day two of the third Ashes Test on 203 for 3, trailing England by 200 runs as they look to secure a series-clinching victory at The WACA in Perth.

The influential captain reached stumps eight short of his latest century after Usman Khawaja, who claimed a 122-ball half-century after being dropped on 0 and 28, was given out after being trapped lbw by Chris Woakes.

Openers David Warner (22) and Cameron Bancroft (25) had made a comfortable start in pursuit of England's rollercoaster 403 all out, before Craig Overton accounted for them both in a profitable stretch before tea that gave the tourists renewed hope after another woeful batting collapse.

However, the Somerset all-rounder, making just his second-ever Test appearance, walked off the field with a rib injury and neither Mark Stoneman nor wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow could take advantage of a late opportunity offered up by Shaun Marsh (7*).

England had earlier resumed on 305 for 4 and and the hugely productive fifth-wicket partnership between Dawid Malan and Bairstow continued at a fine pace, with the latter converting his overnight score of 52 into a deserved century and celebrating by headbutting his helmet - a playful reference to the overblown incident involving his rather odd greeting of Bancroft in a Perth bar in October.

Malan eventually fell for 140 after a fine diving catch from substitute fielder Peter Handscomb off the bowling of spinner Nathan Lyon and that dismissal sparked a swift 48-minute disintegration from Joe Root's side, who went on to lose 6-35 in the space of just 51 balls.

Moeen Ali's outside edge off Pat Cummins flew to Smith at second slip for a duck, while Woakes contributed only eight before lofting a Josh Hazlewood delivery to Cummins in the deep. Bairstow had reached 119 when an inside edge on a straight ball from Mitchell Starc uprooted his middle stump.

Overton (2) quickly returned to the pavilion after guiding a short offering from Hazlewood into the hands of Bancroft, who also got rid of Stuart Broad (12) following an outside edge off Starc. The latter finished with figures of 4-91, while Hazlewood claimed 3-92 and Cummins 2-84.

"It was tough out there this morning and I am delighted to get my first Ashes hundred at the WACA means a heck of a lot – it's something as a boy that you really want to do," Bairstow told BT Sport. "The celebration was a bit of light fun, that's the way it should be taken, as a bit of a laugh.

"We could have kicked on and got a bit more but to get 400 from 100-4 is something we would have taken. They played well this evening, so tomorrow morning's session will be crucial. They took six wickets this morning so there is no reason we can't with the skill we have. The pitch has done enough for us to know we can take 20 wickets."