Australia set the Three Lions a massive first innings score to chase.
Australia has claimed two vital wickets before the close of play to take overall honors on day two thus tightening their grip on the third Test against England at Old Trafford.
The Three Lions finished on 52-2 still 475 runs behind the tourists with Peter Siddle claiming the scalps of Joe Root and Tim Bresnan, in controversial circumstances.
Australia declared soon after tea with the score on 527-7 with unbeaten half-centuries to Mitchell Starc and Brad Haddin
Starc was impressive in reaching 66 off just 71 balls in what was his third Test match century, while Haddin scored an important 65 to help put their side on top with 32 overs left in the day.
In a rare struggle for James Anderson, Australia’s first innings was only the second time in his Test
career he had gone for more than 100 runs and not taken a wicket on his way to figures of 0-116 off 33 overs.
The other occasion was against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2010.
Alastair Cook started his side’s run chase when he lent on a wide ball from Starc as he guided it to the point boundary.
Michael Clarke brought on Nathan Lyon and he immediately troubled Cook from around the wicket, with an edge
lobbing up off Brad Haddin’s leg, falling just out the reach of the Australian skipper.
In a double change the Aussies brought on Shane Watson in place of Starc, who had looked good in his opening spell.
In good signs for the Australian team, Lyon was able to get good drift around the wicket with enough turn and bounce to trouble the England captain.
Australia continued to change up their bowlers in the hope of prying out the England openers, with Cook close to being on his way back to the changerooms after nearly chopping on from Starc.
Joe Root struggled against Lyon with several small chances threatening to bobble up to the close in fielders at first slip and silly mid-on.
Siddle was finally brought into the attack as Root finally scored his first boundary off his 48th ball, with the pull shot doubling his score.
Root was dismissed for eight off 57 balls in a vital breakthrough for Australia as Siddle bowled from wider of the crease with a feather edge flying through to Brad Haddin.
The wicket was just reward for the away side as they had applied themselves well since the declaration and did not stray from their game plans to the England top-order.
Tim Bresnan came in as a nightwatchman instead of Jonathan Trott, with 30 minutes still left in the day’s play.
However, he could not last until the the final ball when he appeared to get an underside edge to Haddin after an attempted pull-shot off Siddle with just a run to his name.
Amazingly the replays showed the ball struck Bresnan on his hip and not the underside of the bat, with his decision not to review the call the wrong one, as England fell to be 49-2 with Trott coming in.
More drama followed soon after when Cook would have been caught short of his ground when he and Trott suffered a miscommunication in a short-single.
Cook remained unbeaten on 36 off 99 and Trott scored two, with the pair vital to their team’s chances as they resume their innings’ on day three in Manchester.