Australia captain Steve Smith helped himself to another classy century as he punished England’s bowlers on Saturday in the third Ashes cricket test at the WACA.
Australia was 314 for four at lunch on the third day, with Smith unbeaten on 139 and Mitchell Marsh 39 not out after the hosts resumed the day on 203 for three.
The home side was 89 runs behind England, which scored 403 in its first innings.
Marsh, recalled to the side after nine months following a shoulder reconstruction surgery, dominated the 66-run fourth-wicket stand.
England removed overnight batsman Shaun Marsh (28) when the lefthander edged a Moeen Ali off-spinner that turned and bounced, allowing captain Joe Root to take a regulation catch at slip.
Smith brought up his seventh century in 23 Ashes tests, to add to his 141 in the series opener in Brisbane in Australia’s 10-wicket win.
Starting the day on 92, Smith reached his 22nd test century when he flicked swing bowler James Anderson for his 16th boundary in the fifth over of the day.
A 59-test veteran, Smith reached 1,000 test runs for the fourth calendar year in a row.
Smith, the No.1 batsmen in the world, was at his supreme best, and batted untroubled as he took the fight to the England attack on a surface that continues to remain batsman-friendly.
Smith came to bat with Australia in trouble at 55-2 on the second afternoon, and counterattacked in the company of Usman Khawaja (50) and Shaun Marsh, totally dominating the two partnerships.
The only time England came close to dismissing Smith was when they reviewed an lbw decision when given not out. But the replays confirmed the Anderson delivery missing leg stump when Smith was on 135.
Australia leads the five-test series 2-0 after dominating wins in Brisbane and Adelaide and can clinch the series with a victory in Perth.