A dominant Australia were five wickets away from reclaiming the Ashes after hammering England with the bat and reducing them to 251 for five with the ball at the end of the fourth day of the third Test at the WACA on Monday.
Ben Stokes, who had scored his maiden Test half-century and was 72 not out, and Matt Prior, unbeaten on seven, were at the crease but the tourists were still 252 runs behind and will need to bat through the final day to save the Test and keep the series alive.
Shane Watson earlier smashed 73 runs off 40 balls for a spectacular century and George Bailey equalled the Test record for most runs from a single over before Australia declared at 369 for three some 40 minutes before lunch.
Requiring 504 runs for an unlikely victory, England's worst Test session for a long time had not quite reached its nadir and Ryan Harris sensationally bowled Alastair Cook for a golden duck with the first ball of the innings.
But Stokes led the resistance with a gutsy and courageous innings and a maiden Test century for the all-rounder would represent a plus point on day five in what has otherwise been another disastrous match for the beleaguered tourists.
Australia 235-3 - The hosts resume their second innings with Watson (29) and Smith (5) at the crease looking to pile on quick runs to allow Clarke to declare as soon as possible.
Australia 301-4 - Stokes digs a delivery in short and Smith picks out sub fielder Bairstow on the midwicket boundary with a miscued pull shot to depart for 15.
Australia 331-5 - Watson's belligerent knock comes to an end in dramatic fashion as he top-edges a pull shot into the air only for Bell to drop it, but the shambles continue as the batsman is run out by Bresnan.
Australia 330-4 - Watson tickles a leg-side delivery from Anderson away very fine for four runs to bring up his second in four Ashes Tests and, remarkably, off just 107 balls.
Australia 340-6 - Haddin swivels back on the crease and goes to slog a delivery from Bresnan across the line, only to miscue his shot straight to Swann at point. He goes for five.
Australia 369-6 - Clarke decides that, with a lead of 503 runs, the work of his aggressive and purposeful batsmen is done. He declares with his side holding overwhelming advantage.
England 0-1 - Harris bowls Cook first ball with a beauty of a delivery that shapes back in and flips off a bail as the England captain goes for a golden duck.
England 62-2 - Watson comes round the wicket to Carberry and traps the opener lbw with a full delivery that hits in line to send him packing for 31.
England 76-3 - Johnson bowls full and wide and Root chops down on the ball, getting an edge through to Haddin to go for 19. He wastes a review on the decision.
England 121-4 - Pietersen shimmies down the wicket at Lyon and miscues an attempted lofted drive to pick out Harris on the long on boundary and depart for 45 in soft fashion.
England 220-5 - Bell tries to flick a short ball from Siddle over the slips but ends up looking very silly as he edges behind to Haddin and is dismissed for 60 after a successful review from the hosts.
It is the first time Cook has been dismissed first ball in a Test and he becomes the first player to have a golden duck in his 100th Test.
This is the first time in Test history that a team has set another team more than 500 to win in three successive Tests.
Anderson concedes a world record equalling 28 runs in an over as Australia set England 504 runs to win.
Bailey has now struck eight sixes in his five Test innings. Don Bradman struck six in his entire Test career.
Australia have scored seven centuries in this series. England have not scored any.
Do England have any chance of grabbing a draw? The England camp are unsurprisingly positive and upbeat about their prospects of salvaging something from the match in Perth to at least delay Australia closing out a series victory, but it seems very unlikely with the tourists five down.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Bell on Stokes: "He's fantastic. Since we've been here in the nets he's looked a quality batsman. He's been a real find for us. Going forward everything looks like he's going to have a great career for England."
TWEETS OF THE DAY