Ashes - Smith leads Australia to strong position in boiling hot Perth

Day one, third Ashes Test, WACA Ground, Perth - 326-6 (Smith 103 not out, Warner 60, Haddin 55 / Broad 2-78, Swann 2-71) against England. Australia won the toss and elected to bat.

Steve Smith gave Australia the upper hand with a brilliant century to frustrate England on day one of the third Ashes Test in Perth.

Smith came to the crease with Australia 106-3 following the loss of captain Michael Clarke for 24 and proceeded to take the hosts to stumps with 326 on the board unbeaten on 103.

David Warner and Brad Haddin also added half-centuries as England were left frustrated after having reduced Australia to 143-5 before a 124-run partnership between the latter and Smith.

Clarke won the toss for the third successive match with his side seeking a series victory after racing into a commanding 2-0 lead with wins at Brisbane and Adelaide.

Alastair Cook and Clarke both had the honour of leading their sides out on their 100th caps, but the Australia captain would have been left happy after Smith led a strong recovery.

[Scorecard / stats / commentary]

[Ashes captains share in historic day of landmarks]

[The view from Down Under]

[Latest Ashes photos]

PRE-START OF PLAY

Australia were unchanged from the team that won the first two Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide after paceman Ryan Harris recovered from a knee problem.

Spinner Nathan Lyon retained his place in the side as the Australian selectors resisted the temptation to go with a trio of pacemen to support the in-form Mitchell Johnson on a WACA pitch that is expected to provide plenty of bounce.

England, chasing a first win at the ground since 1978, brought in seamer Tim Bresnan for spinner Monty Panesar in the only change from the second Test.

KEY MOMENTS

Australia 13-1 - Brilliant fielding from Anderson, who runs out Rogers with a direct hit, sees the Australian opener back in the pavilion for a quick-fire 11.

Australia 52-2 - Broad, in his first over from the Members End, takes his first wicket as Watson, attempting to drive, edges to Swann in the slips and departs for 18.

Australia 106-3 - Clarke is dismissed by Swann for 24, well caught low down by Cook at midwicket.

[Lunch report]

Australia 129-4 - Warner cannot convert his 50 into a century as Carberry holds on to a catch at backward point off the bowling of Swann and the Australian opener is dismissed for 60.

Australia 143-5 - The balance well and truly shifts in England's favour as Bailey goes for seven, hooking to the deep where Pietersen catches to give Broad another wicket.

[Tea report]

Australia 267-6 - Haddin miscues an attempted pull shot and holes out to Anderson at midwicket as he departs to Stokes for 55.

Australia 293-6 - Smith brings up his second Test century with a majestic pull shot in front of square off Stokes to move to three figures.

Australia 326-6 - Johnson ends the day on 39 not out alongside centurion Smith, who has 103, as Australia close with four wickets still remaining.

[End of play report]

KEY STATS

Clarke now needs 36 runs to become the sixth player to score 8,000 Test runs for Australia.

England spinner Swann has now taken a wicket in his first over 15 times in Tests.

With Clarke and Cook reaching their 100th Tests it's only the third time that two or more have reached the landmark in the same game. Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart did so as did Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Stephen Fleming.

TALKING POINT OF THE DAY

Were England right to pick Tim Bresnan? The burly Yorkshireman looked down on pace after being thrown in with little preparation time to bowl on a quick, bouncy Perth pitch that should have been perfectly suited to big pacemen Steven Finn, Boyd Rankin and Chris Tremlett. He finished the day with figures of 0-72.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Alastair Cook, after losing the toss for the third successive time: "Disappointing. It looks a really good wicket but that's by the by now. We have got to put the ball in the right areas and put Australia under pressure. Historically, losing the toss and bowling here first isn't necessarily the end of the world."

TWEETS OF THE DAY