Having prospered at the crease today, Michael Carberry has given England a bite-sized plan to compete with Australia’s first-innings 385 at the WACA.
Carberry spent an hour-and-three-quarters adding a smooth 85 alongside Alastair Cook as the tourists responded positively to their opponents’ testing total.
The Hampshire batsman fell for 43 but, after Joe Root was perhaps unfortunate to be cheaply caught behind off Shane Watson despite a review, Cook went on 72.
Although Cook and Kevin Pietersen initially resisted intense pressure, they later fell in quick succession before Ian Bell and Ben Stokes dug in to see England through to stumps on 180 for four.
Bell and Stokes will resume on nine and 14 respectively with a new ball due in 12 overs and the tourists seeking to get back into a series they trail 2-0 in.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Carberry said: “Slowly and surely I think we’ve got to tick off little landmarks along the way.
“Obviously next target will be get to 200; try and get through the new ball while it’s only 10 overs old; take it in small targets, that’s probably the way to go, and bat long and time; and their bowlers will be getting more and more tired in the heat as well so it might be easier pickings later on in the day.”
Australia started today on 326 for six with Steven Smith unbeaten on 103, but England fairly quickly wrapped up the innings as James Anderson struck twice.
Carberry and Cook then shared their best stand of the series ahead of the hosts drying up the runs on another stifling Perth day.
“We had to scrap hard today through some good spells of bowling,” Carberry added. “It started off with me and Alastair up the top. We had to fight through that nasty little half-hour period before lunch.
“We kicked on nicely but unfortunately wasn’t able to get the big, big partnership which we’ve talked about. But it was a step in the right direction I felt. And then the guys coming in I felt really, really scrapped hard, which is what you’re going to need on this wicket I think.”
Carberry, who left the ball well, has established himself at the crease in each of his first innings during this series, but will be frustrated to have made scores of just 40, 60 and 43.
Having played on to Ryan Harris today, he remarked on that manner of dismissal: “It’s followed me around a little bit, but these things happen.
“It’s disappointing because you get to forties, you’re just really getting going in your innings. It’s something you can’t really dwell on but if you keep doing the right things, which generally I’ve been trying to do, luck turns for you and that’s all you need sometimes.”