Adelaide - Mike Hussey was keeping Australia afloat after a horror start against England in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Hussey, who bounced back to form with a knock of 195 in the Brisbane Test, recovered from an early scare to restore the Australians after the loss of three wickets in the opening three overs of the Test.
He lost his fellow West Australian batting partner Marcus North just before tea and was joined by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who shared in a record 307-run stand with Hussey in the first innings of the drawn Gabba Test.
At tea, Australia were 159 for five after winning the toss with Hussey leading the way on 71 and Haddin not out for two.
England were ruing their missed opportunity when Hussey had a life on three after James Anderson dropped a low left-handed return catch in his fourth over.
England made a dream start when they dismissed senior opener Simon Katich, skipper Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke in a sensational opening spell.
Katich was run out by a direct hit from Jonathan Trott at square leg after he went late when Shane Watson ran for a scrambled single off an lbw appeal on James Anderson's fourth ball of the innings.
Katich had the misfortune to be out without facing a ball, a victim of chaotic communication with his opening partner Watson, to bring Ponting to the crease.
There was more calamity for Australia when Ponting edged Anderson's outswinger to Swann at second slip for a first-ball duck and Australia were rocking at two wickets down without scoring.
The hosts plunged into deeper trouble when out-of-form Clarke on two went hard to a moving Anderson delivery and snicked to Swann in the slips for the spinner's second catch.
Australia were 2-3, with the three wickets tumbling in 10 balls.
The shaken home side had more heart flutters when Watson on seven survived a third umpire's review of a turned-down lbw appeal from Anderson.
Replays showed the delivery was pitching outside off-stump and projected to be going over the stumps and Watson stayed at the crease.
Watson was out in the second over after lunch, slicing an intended drive off Anderson to Kevin Pietersen in the gully for 51 leaving Australia 96 for four.
The notoriously inconsistent North looked to have played himself in before he attempted a late cut off Steven Finn and got a touch for Matt Prior to take the catch.
North helped put on 60 runs with Hussey for the fifth wicket during his 93-ball knock.
England: AJ Strauss (capt), AN Cook, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, PD Collingwood, IR Bell, MJ Prior (wk), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, ST Finn
Australia: SM Katich, SR Watson, RT Ponting (capt), MJ Clarke, MEK Hussey, MJ North, BJ Haddin (wk), XJ Doherty, PM Siddle, RJ Harris, DE Bollinger