England took the upper hand over Australia on Friday for the first time since day one of this Ashes series, with Graeme Swann taking two key wickets.
Offspinner Swann dismissed Michael Clarke (24) and David Warner (60) on either side of lunch as Australia slipped to 129-4 before recovering to reach 220-5 at tea on the opening day of the third test at the WACA ground.
Steve Smith was unbeaten on 58 and Brad Haddin on 35 at the interval, with England only one wicket away from exposing the tailenders.
Australia, which can regain the Ashes with a third straight win, won the toss and batted for the third successive test.
Opposing captains Clarke and Alastair Cook were each playing their 100th test matches.