CHESTER-LE-STREET (England): David Warner counter-punched with real panache to put Australia on course for victory on the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test against England in County Durham on Monday.
The tourists, chasing 299 for victory, were 120 for one at tea with the irrepressible Warner 57 not out and Usman Khawaja unbeaten on six.
Chris Rogers (49) was the only wicket to fall, the first-innings centurion edging a turning delivery from Graeme Swann low to Jonathan Trott at first slip with the total on 109.
Rogers played the tortoise to fellow left-hander Warner’s hare during their century partnership.
Warner, suspended for punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar during the Champions Trophy tournament in June, carried the attack to the home team with a series of crunching strokes.
Australia survived an early scare when under-fire umpire Tony Hill gave Rogers out after he appeared to snick James Anderson to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Rogers went for a review and the decision was reversed when television replays showed the ball had clipped the thigh pad, not the bat.
The home team, 2-0 up in the five-match series, also went to the Decision Review System before lunch when Hill rejected an lbw shout by Stuart Broad against Rogers.
Hill was vindicated on that occasion as replays showed the ball had pitched outside leg stump.
Swann spilled a difficult chance early in the rain-delayed afternoon session when he dived low at second slip trying to take an edge from Rogers off Tim Bresnan.
While Rogers was content to nudge and nurdle, Warner was in typically pugnacious mood and he welcomed Swann to the attack by lofting the spinner over wide mid-off for six.
Warner reached his half-century with a well-timed square cut off Bresnan.
Earlier, fiery paceman Ryan Harris (7-117) produced the best figures of his Test career to bowl England out for 330.
In-form Ian Bell resumed on his overnight score of 105 and quickly took his run tally for the series to 500 before Harris bowled him for 113 with an in-swinger that stayed low.
Prior followed one ball later for a golden duck after another perfect in-swinger from Harris deflected off his elbow and on to the stumps.
The Australian paceman then removed Broad for 13 with a vicious bouncer that the all-rounder gloved to Steve Smith in the gully.
Nightwatchman Bresnan produced a bright and breezy innings before Harris had him caught and bowled for 45.
Nathan Lyon removed last man James Anderson for a duck, leaving Graeme Swann unbeaten on 30.