(CNN) -- Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting scored centuries as Australia made a big dent in England's first-innings 435, with batsmen dominating day two of the opening Ashes Test in Cardiff.
Simon Katich, center, is congratulated by his captain Ricky Ponting after scoring his century.
Captain Ponting, the fourth-highest run-scorer in the five-day game, put on an unbroken 189 with opener Katich as the tourists ended on 249-1 at stumps.
Ponting passed 11,000 runs in Test cricket with his 38th hundred, reaching three figures in the second-to-last over of the day as he finished exactly 100 not out.
Katich notched his eighth Test ton, his first in Ashes clashes and the first by any player in Wales, after putting on 60 for the first wicket with fellow left-hander Phil Hughes.
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Hughes, who averaged 69.16 after his debut Test series on the recent tour of South Africa, raced to 36 before a hostile spell by Andrew Flintoff saw him offer an inside edge low to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
However, that was to be England's only success as Katich ended the day on a patient 104 from 219 deliveries, while Ponting punished the bowlers as he also hit eight boundaries in his 155-ball knock.
England's spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar failed to extract the amount of turn that Australian rival Nathan Hauritz did earlier in the day, finishing with figures of 0-49 from 20 overs and 0-31 from 11, respectively.
Swann, who hit a lusty 47 not out in the morning session as England added 99 runs to their overnight 336-7, admitted that the bowlers had struggled.
"We talked this morning about getting momentum, how that would help us during the day. We got that momentum but it just didn't help us much," he told Sky Sports.
"It was a great first session but we couldn't capitalize, that was disappointing. We had the wind knocked out of our sails a little bit.
"We have worked hard to get swing, reverse and traditional, and it has done nothing. We don't know why. We couldn't get it to do anything, and it is not turning much either.
"That made it difficult, and it is exacerbated when you get two guys batting so well. We have not really bowled well as a unit all day, a few overs and a few spells excepted."
England's tailenders had frustrated Australia in the morning, with Swann leading the way.
His rollicking inning lasted just 40 deliveries, and featured three successive boundaries off Hauritz -- the final one a delightful reverse-sweep to bring up England's 400.
Hauritz had the last laugh, however, when he dismissed last man Panesar for his second wicket of the day, preventing Swann from reaching his second Test half-century.
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England started strongly as Chris Broad took two boundaries in one over from Peter Siddle, who had struck twice late on the first day to give Australia hope of wrapping up the innings quickly.
Broad fell in the following over from left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson, bowled off his pads and around his legs after making 19 off 20 deliveries.
Swann arrived at the crease to help James Anderson add a brisk 68 before the nightwatchman was caught by Mike Hussey at mid-on after coming down the track to attack Hauritz. He made a dogged 26 off 40 balls, providing solid support for his batting partners.
Swann continued to play aggressively, but England's resistance ended when Panesar (4) edged Hauritz to captain Ricky Ponting at second slip to leave the off-spinner with figures of 3-95 from 23.5 overs.
Opening bowler Johnson also ended with three victims, taking 3-87 off 22 overs.
The impressive Hughes then dominated the England bowling as he compiled 28 off 30 deliveries before the interval, with Australia reaching 39-0 in the eight overs possible before lunch.
There was no let-up following the departure of Hughes as Katich and Ponting took the total to 137-1 at tea.
They then stepped up a gear in the final session on the placid pitch, as Flintoff went for a total of 48 runs from his 15 overs, Anderson conceded 57 from 13 and Broad went for 58 off 12.