Home side stabilises in its massive run-chase at Old Trafford.
Kevin Pietersen and Ian Ball have putt England back in the hunt to retain the Ashes at Old Trafford, with the pair building an important partnership of 101 runs.
England at tea on day three in Manchester are 211-4 still 316 behind Australia’s first innings, but Pietersen and the in-form Bell have combined well to reach the break on 78 and 51 respectively.
Soon after play resumed from lunch, Pietersen scored a single to go past Colin Cowdrey’s total of 7624 and up to 7th on the all-time England run scoring list, with his captain the next player in his sights.
The introduction of Nathan Lyon was the red rag that Pietersen needed as he charged down the wicket and used his feet well to move from 42 to 54 in just two shots.
However, Lyon relished the challenge and continued to throw the ball up in the hope of spinning it back between bat and pad or trapping him in front.
Bell and Pietersen set about taking the fight to Australia as they combined flashy stroke-play when needed and dogged defence as the partnership passed 50.
Pietersen was lucky to survive after he was stuck on the pads after falling over as he looked to play a wild shot on the on-side.
Australia elected not to review it, only to find out later from coach Darren Lehmann that if they had of the danger man would have been on his way back to the pavilion.
Steve Smith was brought into the attack just before the new ball was due in the hope of prying out a cheap wicket
before the fast bowlers came back.
The different options continued to be worked by the Australian slow bowlers as Lyon came around the wicket
against the pair of right-handers, with a bat-pad and leg-slip in place.
However, those plans were shelved as Michael Clarke took the new ball as soon as it was available to him.
Despite several shouts, mainly from the bowling of Ryan Harris, Australia were unable to breakthrough for an important wicket before tea.