After winning the toss for the first time in the series, Alastair Cook put the hosts into bat at SCG. At lunch Australia were reeling on 94 for four as England were hoping to avoid a whitewash.
Stuart Broad got George Bailey immediately after lunch but the plucky Steven Smith and the gritty Brad Haddin put on 128 runs for the sixth wicket as England's hopes deflated.
In the process of their partnership England seamer Brad Rankin - making his Test debut - pulled up twice. Big worry for the visitors!
Brad Haddin brought up his sixth fifty-plus score of the series before he was dismissed by Ben Stokes for 75.
But Smith stuck in and brought up his 3rd Test century. He was the last man to be dismissed with Australia on 326 as he was trying to slog.
Ben Stokes was, without doubt, the star with the ball for England, ending with a career-best six for 99. He picked up the wickets of Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle.
England had to survive the few overs they had face before stumps but Michael Carberry fell to Mitchell Johnson's pace - caught at leg slip.
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