Where the England tail failed, the Australian lower order excelled with Clark providing good support for Warne on his quest to an elusive Test century and Adam Gilchrist also chipping in with runs.

 

England did well to remove Mike Hussey for 37 without adding to his overnight tally, and then also saw Andrew Symonds off for 48 before he could do too much damage.

 

This wasn't the case for Gilchrist, though, as he smashed 62 off 72 deliveries and then was unluckily given out caught behind by umpire Billy Bowden when his bat was clearly nowhere near the ball.

 

Things even out in cricket, however, and Shane Warne was given a life by umpire Aleem Dar when he appeared to edge a Monty Panesar delivery in to the gloves of Chris Read but was given not out, and proceeded to pile on 71 runs off only 65 balls.

 

 Shane Warne, being carried by teammates, has had an
outstanding series so far [AP]
In possibly his final Test knock, Glenn McGrath faced three deliveries and was then left stranded on 0 not out at the end of the innings, with Australia all out for 393 - a first innings lead of 102 runs.

 

England capitulate again

 

The home side then took four wickets before England had made up the run deficit to have Alastair Cook (4), Andrew Strauss (24), Ian Bell (28) and Paul Collingwood (17), all back in the pavilion with the score on 98 - still four short of parity.

 

Opener Cook and number three Bell played particularly appalling shots to get out with the latter pressured into hopelessly slashing at a wide Brett Lee delivery only to be caught behind by Adam Gilchrist.

 

Earlier, Cook was the first to go when he attempted a pull shot that was never on, also off the bowling of Lee, resulting in skying the ball to leave Gilchrist with an easy catch.

 

Fellow opener Andrew Strauss was struck a sickening blow by a fearsome Lee delivery when he failed to evade a short ball and was hit just behind the right ear, sending him crumbling to the ground.

 

Strauss recovered from that knock to progress to 24 before he was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Clark, prior to the same bowler snaring the wicket of Collingwood who was well caught in the gully by Matthew Hayden.

 

England captain Andrew Flintoff needed to put on a big partnership with Kevin Pietersen, but was cleverly stumped by Gilchrist off the bowling of Warne when on seven, only centimetres short of his ground.

 

The dangerous Pietersen will resume on 29 on day four with nightwatchman Monty Panesar yet to score.

 

It will take a massive effort for England to survive another day with the bat, and given their meagre lead, Australia look certain to erase their Ashes nightmare of 2005 with a 5-0 series whitewash - the first in 86 years.