Steve Smith’s maiden double-century heaped further misery on England at Lord’s, where Australia declared one over after tea at 8-566 on Friday.
Smith effectively batted the hosts out of the contest – a fair effort given there’s still the better part of 10 sessions remaining in the second Ashes Test.
Never before has a side compiled so many runs batting first at the home of cricket and lost a Test.
The 26-year-old laid the perfect platform for the tourists to square the series, scoring 215 runs after marching to the crease at 1-78 in the 15th over.
Smith broke all manner of records in the process, demoralising England after the hosts offered him a life on 50.
His 284-run partnership with Chris Rogers, who fell for 173 prior to lunch, was Australia’s highest stand at Lord’s.
It was the first double-ton by an Australian at the venue since 1938, with Smith following Don Bradman and Bill Brown to become the third Australian to achieve the milestone at Lord’s.
Smith was a picture of concentration and class until an ungainly end, when he attempted to reverse-sweep Joe Root and was trapped lbw.
The No.3 batsman reviewed the decision, as the ball almost struck him outside the line, but ball-tracking replays suggested it was ‘umpire’s call’.
It was an unfitting end to a masterclass that lasted eight and a half hours.
Smith was dismissed cheaply by Moeen Ali in Australia’s woeful first-Test loss at Cardiff, where he tried to hit the offspinner out of the attack.
This time around, the right-hander was watchful. Naturally aggressive, rather than overly aggressive.
Smith was instead content to wait for the bad balls, of which there were few from Stuart Broad on day two.
He played with supreme confidence, striking well-timed boundaries around the park and working the singles like it was centre-wicket practice.
The knock was a fair response to Broad and former England offspinner Graeme Swann, who questioned Smith’s technique and capacity to bat at first drop prior to the five-Test series.
Smith would have cared more about finally passing 200, having been dismissed for 192 at the MCG and 199 at Kingston in an astonishing run of form since December.
Allrounder Ben Stokes looked sore on Friday, while paceman Mark Wood was restricted at times.
Who could blame them, having spent 149 overs in the field.
Michael Clarke declared one over after tea, wanting to ensure his bowlers have plenty of time to push for victory on a docile deck with few demons in it.