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England take charge in third Ashes Test

Australia captain Ricky Ponting made just 12 runs before being superbly caught by England fielder Paul Collingwood.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting made just 12 runs before being superbly caught by England fielder Paul Collingwood.
  • Chris Tremlett and James Anderson take three wickets each as Australia all out for 268
  • Mike Hussey, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson hit half-centuries for home side
  • Captain Ricky Ponting fails again as his side fall to 36-4 in morning session
  • India slump to 136-9 on opening day of first Test against South Africa

(CNN) -- England's cricketers continued their dominance over Australia with a commanding performance on the opening day of the third Ashes Test in Perth.

The tourists, who lead the five-match series 1-0, dismissed Australia for 268 and then reached 29 without losing a wicket at stumps on Thursday.

It was another miserable day for Ricky Ponting, who is seeking to avoid becoming the first Australia captain to lose three Ashes series.

England, as holders, need only to end the series on level terms to retain the urn that has been fought for by the two teams for more than 100 years.

Ponting averages over 50 with the bat in 150 appearances in the five-day game, but the 35-year-old has now scored just 82 runs in this series after falling for 12 and his future in the side is now in considerable doubt.

I have had to wait a couple of years for my chance and it's great to come back and make a contribution
--Chris Tremlett
  • The Ashes
  • Australia
  • England
  • Ricky Ponting
  • Cricket

The home side crumbled to 69-5 as seam bowler Chris Tremlett justified his selection in place of the injured Stuart Broad by taking three of those wickets after England won the toss and put Australia into bat.

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"I have had to wait a couple of years for my chance and it's great to come back and make a contribution," Tremlett told reporters.

"I got told I was playing yesterday afternoon at nets so it was a nervous night's sleep, but I woke up full of confidence and tried to enjoy it and it was a great day for me.

"Perth is renowned for its bounce and it helped that I got a chance at Melbourne and took wickets at Hobart, and here conditions were in my favor. I haven't bowled 23 overs in a day for a while but I am feeling fresh and ready to go again in a couple of days."

Tremlett bowled Australia's recalled opener Phil Hughes for just two at the end of his first over to bring Ponting to the crease, and the skipper was next to go after hitting three quickfire boundaries as he was caught by a diving Paul Collingwood at third slip off the bowling of James Anderson.

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Ponting's vice-captain Michael Clarke failed to build on his 80 from the innings defeat in Adelaide, making four before edging to wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Tremlett -- who also had the recalled Steven Smith caught in the slips for seven.

However, Mike Hussey continued his run as Australia's most consistent batsman with his third consecutive half-century, having scored 195 in his only innings of the drawn opening match in Brisbane.

The left-hander put on a sixth-wicket stand of 68 with Brad Haddin before falling to spinner Graeme Swann for 61.

Haddin reached 53 off 80 balls before being caught by Swann off James Anderson, who then bowled Ryan Harris for three for his third wicket of the day.

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Mitchell Johnson, recalled to the Australian line-up after a poor bowling performance in Brisbane, showed some form with the bat as he clubbed eight fours and a six in his 62 before becoming young paceman Steve Finn's second victim.

Johnson passed 50 for the fifth time in 40 Tests as he added 32 for the ninth wicket with Siddle, who further frustrated England's bowlers with an unbeaten 35 before Swann accounted for No. 11 Ben Hilfenhaus (13).

Alastair Cook took that catch at short leg, and then padded up himself to reach 17 at stumps alongside captain Andrew Strauss, who was unbeaten on 12.

Elsewhere, South Africa punished India as the visitors ended on 136-9 after a rain-affected opening day of the first Test in Johannesburg.

After wet weather delayed the start by four hours India struggled with the pace and bounce of Morne Morkel, who took four wickets, including those of Gautam Ghambir and Raul Dravid.

Sachin Tendulkar offered brief resistance with a knock of 36 before he became one of three batsmen dismissed by Dale Steyn, while captain MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on 33 not out at the close of play.

Last man Jaidev Unadkat survived five balls to ensure India batted out the day but South Africa will now be strong favourites to take the match.