Ashes Series: Australia all set to reclaim the series

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Josh Hazlewood knows rain is the only hurdle Australia faces in reclaiming the Ashes in the third Test at the WACA, which is why he is desperate for early breakthroughs in the England batting line-up on the final day in Perth.

England closed day four on 132-4, still 127 runs away from making Australia bat again, and on the brink of shipping the urn back to the Baggy Greens.

Australia lost three wickets for 12 runs in the mini-collapse but wicketkeeper Tim Paine (49 not out) and Pat Cummins (41) steadied the home side with a 93-run stand.

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Hazlewood said Australia was actually looking to bat longer but the threat of rain led to captain Steve Smith to declare with a lead of 259 runs, which was earlier than he had intended. "I'd like five or six more (to hit the crack) on Monday", he said. England assistant coach Paul Farbrace said the weaknesses in the English attack, particularly in foreign conditions, were being cruelly exposed.

"There's a pretty big crack pretty much straight down middle stump bowling from the bottom end (of the ground)". "We don't have that extra pace, we knew that coming into that series, and we haven't got the highest quality of magical spin", he added. "It's going to be tough and I'm sure there's going to be some good balls flying around out there but these two especially showed in the first innings that they can occupy the crease for a long time, so hopefully they get off to a good start in the morning". In his 150th Test, Cook's woes then continued when Hazlewood snared a brilliant one-handed return catch to remove him for 14, leaving the former skipper with just 83 runs at 13.83 for the series.