Updated: Sunday, 15 December 2013 16:07 | By Agence France-Presse

Australia on brink of regaining Ashes

England were battered and all but beaten, with Australia on the verge of regaining the Ashes at tea on the third day of the third Test in Perth on Sunday.


Australia on brink of regaining Ashes

England batsman Stuart Broad (C) looks towards teammate Tim Bresnan (L) after being dismissed on the third day of the third Ashes cricket Test match against Australia in Perth on December 15, 2013

Australia led by 134 runs in the first innings after the England tail folded meekly again before lunch, and the home side were 123 for none at tea, an overall lead of 257.

David Warner was on 81, with Chris Rogers on 42, the pair having posted the first century opening stand of the series for either side as the English fell apart in the field.

Australia lead the five-Test series 2-0 after comprehensive victories in Brisbane and Adelaide and can regain the Ashes, which they last won in 2007, with victory in Perth.

As if their predicament weren’t already dire enough, the tourists returned to the field for the Australian second innings without their best fast bowler, Stuart Broad.

Broad injured his right foot when struck by a brutish swinging yorker by Mitchell Johnson, who may have delivered the literal final blow to England's hope of hanging on to the Ashes.

Broad was trapped lbw by the delivery for five, and limped to a fitness test in the WACA nets between innings, before being taken from the ground for scans.

To add insult to injury, the embattled Matt Prior gifted Warner a life when he missed the easiest of stumpings in spinner Graeme Swann's first over of the innings.

Warner was on just 13 and was comprehensively beaten in flight, but Prior failed to take the ball.

Prior's day went from bad to worse when he then failed to react to a thin edge from Rogers, on 26, from the bowling of Jimmy Anderson.

The ball carried at good height just to Prior's left and he didn't move, forcing first slip Alastair Cook to make a last-moment lunge to his right, grassing what clearly was the wicketkeeper's catch.

Earlier in the day, England resumed at 180-4, but offered little resistance to the Australian pace trio of Ryan Harris (3-48), Johnson (2-62) and Peter Siddle (3-36).

The last six English wickets fell for just 61 runs, the rot starting when overnight batsman Ian Bell was given out lbw to Harris on a third umpire review for 15, after he was initially given the benefit of the doubt.

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