Chris Rogers posted a seventh straight Test half-century in Cardiff, reducing England’s lead to 285 runs at tea on day two of the Ashes opener.
Australia were 2-145 at tea on Thursday, with Rogers unbeaten on 74 and in complete control.
The same couldn’t be said of David Warner and Steve Smith, who were both caught by Alastair Cook in the second session.
Warner was uncharacteristically subdued and fell for 17, Cook doing well to latch onto a thick edge that flew to his right at first slip.
Smith’s dismissal was a product of Cook’s captaincy as much as his hands.
Cook shifted himself into short mid-on moments before Smith spooned a catch there.
The right-hander, who has scored a century in five of his past six Tests, looked set before producing the woeful shot against Moeen Ali.
Ali fired a ball down the leg-side, looking for a stumping, and Smith awkwardly chased after it with his bat and pad.
Smith took three deliveries to strike a major blow against Cook, but it had nothing to do with the scoreboard.
England’s captain took a few minutes to get to his feet and left the field after being struck on the groin by an edge that reared off the turf.
Rogers, recalled after missing two Tests against the West Indies due to concussion, scored freely and quickly.
The 37-year-old has scored more first-class runs in England than any other batsman in the past nine years.
His only nervous moment came on two, when England opted for a review after Marais Erasmus turned down Stuart Broad’s most-animated lbw shout of the day.
Hotspot confirmed a faint edge, prompting a brief but friendly discussion between Rogers and Broad.
Rogers became the fifth man to pass 50 in seven consecutive Test innings.
Kumar Sangakkara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Andy Flower and Everton Weekes are the only other batsmen to achieve the feat.