Peter Siddle has kept Australian hopes alive with three English wickets and two catches on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The big-hearted paceman inspired his teammates with the wickets of Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen, before taking two great catches at fine leg off Mitchell Johnson's bowling.
Although the tourists extended their lead to 206 runs by tea, Australia kept plugging away after their horror Boxing Day start when they were routed for 98, their lowest total in 54 Ashes Tests at the famous ground.
At tea, England were 304 for five with Jonathan Trott unbeaten on 65 and Matt Prior on 12.
But it was Siddle's day as he single-handedly kept the Australians in the contest and had the figures of three for 41 off 22 overs at the interval.
Siddle had Cook caught at first slip by Shane Watson for 82 to end an English opening stand of 159 then had Strauss brilliantly caught one-handed by a leaping Michael Hussey in the gully for 69.
Danger batsman Pietersen was trapped lbw to Siddle for 51 after raising his 21st Test half-century.
Pietersen was given out and conferred with batting partner Trott about whether to seek an umpire's review, but walked from the wicket after a few words.
Pietersen was the subject of an Australian referral for caught behind off Ben Hilfenhaus on 49 after wicketkeeper Brad Haddin persuaded skipper Ricky Ponting to seek a review.
But "hot-spot" replays showed no edge and Pietersen stayed much to the annoyance of Ponting, who argued heatedly with both umpires and had sharp words with Pietersen about the decision believing he had made contact with the ball.
Pietersen, who looked in good touch, added 92 for the third wicket with Trott to put England in a strong position.
Paul Collingwood's series woes continued when he fell for eight off a poor hook shot straight to Siddle in Mitchell Johnson's first over of a new spell.
Collingwood has scored just 70 in five innings in the series putting pressure on his place for next week's final Test in Sydney.
Siddle was on the spot again to snap up a low diving catch at fine leg to dismiss Ian Bell for one off Johnson.
Trott, who needed a referral to narrowly avoid being run out on 46, was holding England's innings together with his sixth Test half-century.
Prior was called back by an uncertain umpire Aleem Dar when he walked after being caught in the slips when on five and after Dar consulted with the third umpire it was proved that Johnson had over-stepped for a no-ball.