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Summary

  1. Cook, dropped by Smith on 66, makes unbeaten century
  2. Australia bowled out for 327
  3. Broad takes 4-51, Anderson 3-61
  4. Curran bowls Smith (76) for first Test wicket
  5. Australia lose seven wickets for 67 after Smith dismissal
  6. Australia lead series 3-0; two to play

Live Reporting

By Jack Skelton

All times stated are UK

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  1. Farewell

    So, England's finest day of the Ashes so far ends with them in a strong position on 192-2, trailing Australia by 135 runs after dismissing the hosts for 327.

    It could all unravel quickly if they're not careful, of course. But the tourists have Alastair Cook unbeaten on 104 and Joe Root playing nicely on 49 not out returning to the crease on day three.

    Can England kick on? Will Australia fight back? How will the pitch play on day three?

    Join me later today (I'll go have a sleep in between) to find out. For now, farewell.

  2. Post update

    Almost close of play for this live text - there are plenty of recaps and reaction below for you to scroll through at your leisure.

    A full report of the day is available here.

    And the scorecard is here.

  3. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    Stuart Broad was outstanding - he bowled quicker and put more oomf into his bowling.

    James Anderson was very consistent and I like Tom Curran I like. England have got a cricketer they can make something of. I like that competitive edge and spirit.

    England were very good with the ball in hand and got the reverse swing which we haven't seen from Australia.

    Tom Curran
  4. Post update

    OK, OK. England and their fans should not get ahead of themselves.

    And yes, this day of control has only come after the Ashes were surrendered.

    And yes, there are still flaws that need addressing in this England side.

    But for those of you who have inflicted late nights, early starts and both in combination on yourselves since 22 November, this was a day to relish.

  5. Get Involved

    #bbccricket

    James Ash: Looking forward to the tour peaking when England lose 8-80 tomorrow morning.

    Bairdy: Wonderfully sporting of Smith to chuck up some garbage for Cook to get his ton.

    Jason Lockyer: Well done Cook. Get a massive ton now.

  6. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    It has been a tough tour for the senior pros but for the first time the experienced batsmen have been at the crease for a few hours.

    Throughout the whole day Cook had a mindset of challenging the bowler. The pitch played beautifully in the afternoon session.

    England are in a fantastic position and have won day two convincingly. Can they win day three?

    From what I have seen from this Australia attack and the pitch, England should have plenty to see the day out and get in front but we can't get ahead of ourselves with this England side.

  7. Day two report

    But don't just take my word for all that - have a read of our man in Melbourne Stephan Shemilt's report of day two here.

  8. What you've missed... England 192-2 in reply

    Alastair Cook

    Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman started well in reply, before the latter tried to attack Nathan Lyon, got a leading edge and the off-spinner took a terrific return catch over his head.

    James Vince came in and looked good, before he was given out lbw to Josh Hazlewood. Replays suggest the number three may have got a thin edge on it, but crucially he didn't review the decision.

    Cook and captain Joe Root ensure that wasn't the start of a wobble though, compiling nicely and seeing off the dangerous Hazlewood, with Pat Cummins waylaid by a stomach complaint.

    Steve Smith dropped Cook at slip on 66 off Mitchell Marsh, but otherwise the England opener was dominant. Tucks, cuts, pulls and punches down the ground galore as he reached his 32nd Test century just before the close.

    England end their best day of the series on 192-2, trailing Australia by 135 runs.

  9. What you've missed... Australia 327 all out

    Steve Smith

    So Australia moved to 260-3, with Steve Smith looking imperious - only for the skipper to chop a wide ball from Tom Curran onto his stumps for 76 and spark a collapse.

    Two more drag ons followed as Chris Woakes got Mitchell Marsh and James Anderson removed Tim Paine, while Stuart Broad had Shaun Marsh plumb lbw for 67.

    Anderson and a resurgent Broad cleaned up the tail in no time - Australia losing their last seven wickets for 67 runs and last five for just 13.

    Broad finished with 4-51 and Anderson 3-61 to bowl the hosts out for 327 on a pitch that was keeping low, with a hint of reverse swing.

  10. Post update

    Maybe you'd eaten yourself asleep on Boxing Day. Maybe you're back at work today. Maybe both.

    Australia were starting the day 244-3, with Steve Smith at the crease.

    You decided to give this day a miss. Get some sleep and check in on just how bad things were going in the morning.

    Pleasantly surprised? Gutted you didn't stay up? Fear not, we've got you covered. Stay tuned for a recap of the day's action and plenty more reaction...

  11. Post update

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  12. Post update

    There's still some fire glowing in England's senior players too.

    Obviously, it's tough for England fans to see their side perform like this at 3-0 down, with the Ashes gone.

    But there is also plenty to be heartened by - Broad and Anderson reinforcing how their skill and experience can still be invaluable. Cook compiling one of those dominant centuries.

    They may all be entering the final stages of their careers but there are still good times to savour and today is one of those.

  13. Post update

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  14. Post update

    Australia are without the injured Mitchell Starc in this Test, while Pat Cummins has been short of pace and regularly off the field due to illness.

    But that's part of high-level sport - teams need strength in depth. Starc's replacement Jackson Bird hasn't looked overly threatening and, in general, Australia have looked unable to harness the slight reverse swing England found in the first innings.

    Jackson Bird
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    SMS Message: Great day for England...Australia lose one of their best players, Starc, and struggle...England lost their best player, Stokes, and struggle...maybe the gap isn't too big after all. from Simon, Sussex
    Simon, Sussex
  16. Post update

    Ed Smith

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    The broader pattern for Broad stays. He does not influence enough games over a period of time.

    Let's focus on today first of all but to say that means he remains and is an automatic selection, I wouldn't say that.

    But he bowled very well today.

    Stuart Broad
  17. Post update

    BBC Test Match Special

    More from Stuart Broad: "I am not sure the pitch is overly awkward to bat on. It just takes time to get used to. It doesn't break up a huge amount here so first innings runs are hugely important and that's what we want. The biggest threat is scoreboard pressure and reverse swing.

    "We know we want to get a lead but are in no rush to do that. Our best way to win the game will be to bat as big as possible. It is not easy but we will make sure we reset in the morning."

  18. Post update

    Josh Hazlewood

    Australia's Josh Hazlewood, speaking to ABC: "They are a little on top. We were a little inconsistent but it is a very good wicket. We could have bowled straighter and dried scoring up.

    "We should have pushed on to 400-plus but we lost wickets early. We definitely left runs out there."

    Asked if Australia were complacent with the bat, he said: "You could say that. Lazy is another way. A few of the boys know that they need to be better."

    And on his dismissal of James Vince for lbw, despite Vince seeming to hit the ball: "Did he hit it? We won't talk about that."

  19. If you're just joining us...

    Alastair Cook

    If, like Mark below, you've just woken up, we're here to bring you recaps and reaction to England's best day of this Ashes so far.

    The headline? A vintage Alastair Cook has hit his 32nd Test century and first Ashes ton since 2011.

    A fine partnership with successor Joe Root has seen England close on 192-2, trailing Australia by 135 runs.

    That's only half the story - England bowled well, too. After Steve Smith chopped on for 76, the hosts collapsed, losing their last seven wickets for just 67 runs.

    Both James Anderson and especially a resurgent Stuart Broad were impressive, using the low bounce and reverse swing to blitz away the Australian lower order and tail.

    Mark Stoneman and James Vince both got starts but fell to Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood respectively. Cook and Root have kicked on and given England a real foothold in this Test.

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    SMS Message: Wow - have I just woken up in 2010/11? Well done the whole England team today. Great effort. from Mark Curran
    Mark Curran