Ashes 2013-14: England collapse twice on day three in Melbourne
The day in 50 words
Normal service resumed.
Australia's last-wicket pair add 40 - England's lead is 51.
Solid start led by Cook then three wickets fall for one run.
Pietersen rebuilds but England lose last five wickets in 40 balls for 179 all out.
Australia cruise to 30-0 - need another 201 to win.
Not content with just the one batting collapse, this time England managed two in their disastrous second innings on Saturday.
The first began at 86-1 when Michael Carberry was pinned lbw by Peter Siddle from round the wicket after making a painstaking 12 off 81 balls. Three balls later, Joe Root was brilliantly run out by a direct hit from Mitchell Johnson. And Johnson was back in the action moments later when Ian Bell inexplicably chipped his first ball from Nathan Lyon straight to the left-arm fast bowler at mid-off.
A mini-recovery saw England reach 173-5, but once again their tail imploded in a spectacular 41-minute passage of play.
0532 GMT: Bairstow c Haddin b Johnson 21 (173-6) - Full, wide of off stump, Bairstow can't resist a waft, getting only a thin tickle through to Brad Haddin.
0549: Bresnan b Lyon 0 (Eng 174-7) - Tim Bresnan is looking to pull a ball that is nowhere near short enough, but can only get an under-edge on to the stumps.
0554: Broad c Clarke b Lyon 0 (Eng 174-8) - Aims a drive at Nathan Lyon but gets a thick edge to Michael Clarke at slip.
0604: Pietersen c Harris b Lyon 49 (Eng 179-9) - Holes out to long-off from Nathan Lyon.
0613: Panesar lbw Johnson 0 (Eng 179 all out) - Gets half forward and is plumb lbw to Johnson.
In 2010-11, when working as a member of the Adelaide groundstaff, Nathan Lyon received a tongue-lashing from Kevin Pietersen for forgetting to cover the nets during a heavy shower. Three years later, the off-spinner is raining on England's parade.
Lyon's dream day began with a crucial unbeaten 18 in a last wicket partnership of 40 with Brad Haddin, who made 65. Lyon has now scored 53 runs in the series without being dismissed.
On a pitch offering little turn, Lyon then benefitted from some terrible shots from England's batsmen to record 5-50 - his first five-wicket haul against England taking his career tally to 101 wickets.
Stats of the day
- If Australia win it would be the ninth highest Test run chase at the MCG and the highest since 1963
- Alastair Cook became the sixth England batsman to reach 8,000 Test runs
- At 29 years and 3 days, he beat Sachin Tendulkar by 21 days to become the youngest player to 8,000
- Mitchell Johnson became the first player to take 30 or more wickets in any Test series since Shane Warne in 2005 and the first to do it in Australia since Craig McDermott in 1994/95
- After his fourth half-century of the series, Brad Haddin beat Alec Stewart's record of 378 for the most runs by a wicketkeeper in an Ashes series
- Nathan Lyon reached 100 Test wickets in his 29th match and took his first five-wicket haul against England
- Lyon's average of 23 when batting at number 11 is the highest in Tests for those who have played at least 20 innings.
What they said
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow: "Of course we can do it. In the first innings we bowled them out for less than the target they are chasing. We got the ball moving sideways and bowled with great skill. Hopefully we can take that show of skill into tomorrow.
"I don't know why we keep collapsing. If we knew that we would have put our fingers on it and moved on. In some areas it is quite difficult to rotate the strike and the fields they have set have been clever. They have bowled well to keep the run-scoring down."
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon: "It's been a long journey from the last Ashes series but an enjoyable journey and I've loved every minute.
"It was a great day but we've got a lot of hard work to do. We know the trend of the game - it is easiest to score runs off the new ball then it gets harder. Hopefully we can get a couple of big partnerships together and get over the line."
The expert view on Test Match Special
Former England captain Michael Vaughan: "That was the worst display of the series. You've got a chance to really nail the opposition when you go out to bat and some of the shot selection is just not good enough. There are many people having a go at the batting coach Graham Gooch, but we shouldn't give the players an excuse. It's the players who go out there and make the decisions. I'm sorry but some of those decisions they made today are just not to a high enough standard for this level - you can't continue to make those mistakes."
Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott: "This day promised a great deal for English cricket but finished really disappointingly. I feel very dejected after feeling this was England's best chance to win for a long time. I'd like to be in the dressing room telling them what I think. They think they're better than they are, they've won three series against ordinary Australian sides and they think they're world beaters."
Strong winds swirling around the MCG caused all manner of debris to be blown on to the pitch, including rubbish bags, plastic glasses and beach balls. At one point in the evening session part of one of the sightscreens was dislodged by the breeze, causing a brief delay in play.
Sadly for England's supporters, their batsmen were not exactly seeing the cricket ball like the proverbial beach ball as they were bundled out cheaply once again.