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England show fight in Perth

By Matthew Sherry

England battled valiantly after being set 504 to win the fourth Ashes Test, yet Australia closed on the little urn at the WACA.

The hosts resumed their second innings on 235 for three, for a lead of 369, with Shane Watson and first-innings centurion Steven Smith the not-out batsmen.

The former quickly set about England's attack and, despite Smith pulling Ben Stokes to deep midwicket, moved to a fine century.

He was then run out for 103 by Tim Bresnan, who also had Brad Haddin caught at point. George Bailey did not blink, though, as his 39 not out helped Australia declare on 369 for six.

The tourists' response started in the worst possible fashion as Alastair Cook was bowled first ball by a Ryan Harris beauty. Michael Carberry and Joe Root showed good fight but eventually succumbed, the former trapped lbw by Watson and the latter edging Mitchell Johnson behind. 

Kevin Pietersen briefly exhilarated with 45, only to fall to Nathan Lyon. However, Ian Bell and Ben Stokes prospered thereafter, each reaching 50 before the former fell to Peter Siddle for 60. Stokes remained, though, and was unbeaten on 72 at the close with England 251 for five, needing another 253 to win.

Stuart Broad's X-ray did not show up a fracture to his foot and he is expected to bat if required.

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Evening Session

Watch highlights of the evening session from the WACA

England 2nd Innings 

10.02am - STUMPS! England 251/5; Stokes 72, Prior 7 - So, England take it to a final day. What an innings it has been so far from Stokes, who has looked the real deal. Can he kick on? Join me tomorrow to find out.

9.47am - Stokes continues to look fluent all around the wicket. He has played some fine shots today in passing 50 in this format for the first time.

9.31am - FIFTY! Stokes (69b 9x4 0x6) - In the midst of a disappointing tour thus far, England may have found a real gem in Stokes - whose beautiful straight drive heralds his half-century.

9.28am - WICKET! Bell c Haddin b Siddle 60; England 220/5 - A lovely whip through midwicket from Stokes is followed by Bell edging and aerially driving fours. However, he falls soon after, feathering an attempted upper-cut behind with Australia successfully utilising the Decision Review System.

9.08am - FIFTY! Bell (81b 5x4 1x6) - England's number five brings up a fine half-century with a clipped single to leg.

9.02am - Glorious stroke from Bell as he leans into a cover-drive. Shane Watson responds outstandingly, causing the batsman problems with movement and invariable bounce.

8.47am - Stokes continues to look in fine fettle, driving and twice pulling further boundaries.

8.35am - Stokes picks up another four with a powerful pull before Bell adds two further fours in the same fashion - which he follows up with an upper-cut six.

8.19am - Ben Stokes is looking in good touch thus far, hitting straight boundaries off Mitchell Johnson and Lyon.

7.52am - WICKET! Pietersen c Harris b Lyon 45; England 121/4 - It does not work this time. Pietersen skies an attempt to crunch Lyon over long-on but picks out the man. It was a fine catch from Ryan Harris; the ball flew high in the air.

7.48am - Pietersen is really ticking now, following a huge, 103-metre six over midwicket off Lyon with a stunning straight-driven four off Peter Siddle.

7.38am - Kevin Pietersen is moving again, paddle-sweeping and driving Nathan Lyon for fours.

Afternoon Session

Watch highlights of the afternoon session from the WACA

7.11am - TEA! England 95/3; Pietersen 24, Bell, 6 - Pietersen is clearly going to be positive, illustrated by a fine cover-driven four off Harris. In the next over, he just clears midwicket as Lyon ends the session.

6.57am - Johnson's tail is really up now. Having cut Ian Bell in half first up, he finds Pietersen's glove with a vicious bouncer, the ball just evading a diving Haddin.

6.44am - WICKET! Root c Haddin b Johnson 19; England 76/3 - Joe Root's rearguard comes to an end as he edges Mitchell Johnson behind. The number three used up a review, believing his bat had only hit the ground, but HotSpot showed a thick edge. The wicket owed much to Brad Haddin, who claimed a stunning driving catch.

6.18am - Cracking stroke from Kevin Pietersen, who gets off the mark with a flowing straight drive off Watson.

6.02am - WICKET! Carberry lbw Watson 31; England 62/2 - Australia grab a second wicket as Shane Watson, bowling around the wicket, traps Carberry plumb in front with a delivery that comes back.

5.57am - There's stroke of fortune for Carberry as he edges Nathan Lyon through the cordon for four when trying to go aerial.

5.30am - Michael Carberry shows good timing by driving Harris confidently through backward point for four.

5.18am - We're back under way in Perth. In the second over of the afternoon, a Ryan Harris delivery that is well outside off stump skids low. Those are the ones that will worry England.

Morning Session

Watch highlights of the morning session from the WACA

4.31am - LUNCH! England 24/1; Carberry 8, Root 7 - Good effort there from Carberry and Root as they see England to the break. There is plenty of hard work ahead.

4.20am - Michael Carberry and Joe Root are looking solid, the former striking two leg-side boundaries and the latter getting off the mark with a glorious cover-driven four.

4.01am - WICKET! Cook b Harris 0; England 0/1 - What a start for Australia. They grab a wicket first up as Ryan Harris bowls Cook with a beauty.

4am - Here we go then. There is an initial 30 minutes for Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry to survive.

Australia 2nd Innings 

3.48am - DECLARATION! Australia 369/6; Bailey 39, Johnson 0 - England need 504 to win - An Anderson over goes 4-6-2-4-6-6 and Australia bring an end to England's misery. Bailey struck all of the runs in that set of six, a joint-Test-record 28.

3.39am - WICKET! Haddin c Swann b Bresnan 5; Australia 340/6 - Bailey's attempted swipe flies into the air and drops between Bell and Anderson, who did not communicate. Brad Haddin, having pulled four over mid-on in the previous over, then cuts high to point later in the set of six.

3.26am - WICKET! Watson run out Bell 103; Australia 331/5 - What a bizarre dismissal. Watson skies an attempted pull and Ian Bell drops the simplest of chances before Tim Bresnan runs out the batsman, who was walking down the pitch believing himself certain to be caught.

3.23am - CENTURY! Watson (106b 11x4 0x6) - Anderson bowls too straight and Watson flicks one fine for four to reach three figures. He has been in amazing form this morning.

3.19am - George Bailey is into his groove, guiding one through third man for four off Anderson.

3.05am - WICKET! Smith c sub b Stokes 15; Australia 301/4 - Some joy for England as Steven Smith, who struck a century in the first innings, pulls Stokes straight to Jonny Bairstow at deep midwicket.

2.57am - Astonishing from Watson, who hits three sixes in a Swann over that brings 22 runs. Australia have scored 60 runs in seven overs, of which he is responsible for 53.

2.53am - Watson continues to prosper, thumping Ben Stokes for two fours in an over as Australia's lead passes 400.

2.42am - FIFTY! Watson (78b 7x4 1x6) - Australia's number three moves to 50 via a quick single off James Anderson.

2.34am - There is that question answered. Shane Watson whips a boundary over midwicket before driving straight for four and six as Graeme Swann's over yields 14.

Pre-Play News

2.24am - It is difficult to imagine Australia doing anything other than trying to pile on quick runs before declaring. We'll see what happens.

2.15am - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk's live coverage of day four at Perth, where Australia look set to regain the Ashes. The hosts will resume 369 ahead on 235 for three in their second innings.

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