(CNN) -- England captain Andrew Strauss made a superb unbeaten century but saw his side fritter away their advantage in the final session of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's.
Strauss celebrates his 18th Test century and fourth at Lord's shortly before tea.
Australia hit back to claim four wickets after tea as England closed on 364 for six wickets with Strauss 161 not out and Stuart Broad on seven not out.
But it could have been so much better for the home side who were in commanding position after an opening stand of 196 between Strauss and fellow left-hander Alastair Cook, who made 95.
They got England off to a rattling start after Strauss won the toss to make first use of a good batting wicket at the home of cricket.
But Cook was denied his 10th Test ton when trapped leg before wicket to a Mitchell Johnson delivery that kept low.
Ravi Bopara was also trapped in front by Ben Hilfenhaus for 18, but Strauss and Kevin Pietersen took England to tea at 255 for two wickets and on top.
But Pietersen went shortly after the interval as he edged Peter Siddle to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 32 and the rot started.
Paul Collingwood, who batted heroically to help England salvage a draw in the first Test in Cardiff, went cheaply as he was caught by Siddle at mid-on off Michael Clarke's occasional left-arm spin.
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior again fell cheaply, bowled by an inswinger from Johnson, to bring allrounder Andrew Flintoff to the wicket.
Flintoff, who announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the series on the eve of the match, also did not last long as he edged a fine Hilfenhaus delivery to Ricky Ponting at slip for four.
Strauss and Broad battled to the close, the captain having reached his 18th Test century and fourth on his home ground shortly before tea.
Australia were down to four bowlers for much of the day with off-spinner Nathan Hauritz going to hospital for X-rays after damaging a finger in his right hand while trying to catch Strauss.
England are bidding to win back the Ashes they won in an epic home series in 2005, but lost on Australian soil in the 2006-07 series.