Ashes 2013: Australia on Top as England Stutter on Second Day

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | December 14, 2013 9:48 PM EST

Australia are in the driver's seat at the end of the second day of the third Ashes Test in Perth. England ended their innings at 180/4 and are trailing Australia by 205 runs as they look to reduce the deficit with only three Tests remaining. Ian Bell (9) and Ben Stokes(14) are unbeaten at the crease and will resume their innings on the third day.

The hosts had put up a total of 385 runs on the board in the first innings and are leading the five-match Test series 2-0. Steven Smith was the pick of the batsmen, scoring 111 runs to haul the Aussies past the 300-mark and putting them in a strong position. Brad Haddid provided him with ample support at the fag end of the innings, scoring 55 runs.

The England bowlers started the innings brilliantly but failed to break up the solid resistance provided by Smith and Haddin. Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets while Graeme Swann and James Anderson followed suit with two wickets each. England's bowling has been their Achilles' heel this series and the same players failed to fire yet again when an opportunity presented itself to put the hosts on the ropes.

In reply, England started off on a good note with Alastair Cook scoring 72 and he put in a partnership of 85 runs with Michael Carberry who departed after scoring 43. Joe Root was the next to depart with four runs on the board while Kevin Pieterson played a rash shot and was held out at 19. Cook, who was playing brilliantly cut his shot to backward point where he was easily caught by Nathan Lyon of the bowling of David Warner.

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