David Warner kept England in big trouble at lunch on day three of the Ashes, as Australia recovered their composure after donating two early wickets with false shots.
England began a cloudy morning at the Gabba badly needing a revival to stay remotely in this match, after their calamitous collapse on Friday afternoon.
Chris Rogers and Shane Watson both got themselves out as two wickets fell for eight runs, but Warner (83no) and Michael Clarke then shared a near run-a-ball half-century stand to move to 145 for two – and an overall lead of 304 – either side of a short break for rain.
That man Stuart Broad earned himself a few more boos by striking with his first ball of the day.
It was hardly a deserving delivery, a loosener of a short ball which Rogers somehow contrived to cut tamely into the hands of Michael Carberry at point.
But Broad and James Anderson did not make life easy for Australia’s batsmen initially – and by the time the former was given a breather, the hosts had added only five runs in seven overs.
When Chris Tremlett then started with a long-hop, duly pulled for four by Watson, it seemed the pressure was about to be quickly released.
Watson went for a repeat next ball and mistimed terminally, however, to present a simple catch to Broad at mid-on.
Australia’s number three departed with a flea in his ear from Anderson, and England predictably brought Broad straight back into the attack to try to discomfort Clarke – at the expense of Tremlett, despite a wicket in his solitary over.
Broad had expertly exploited Clarke’s apparent weakness against the short ball in the first innings, but the Australia captain was in no mood to be intimidated this time and pulled him for two fours in one over.
Warner was having little of the strike, but completed his 73-ball 50 just before the weather intervened – and then when he and Clarke returned, they had the measure of Tremlett and Graeme Swann.