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Ben Stokes: England will battle on

Clarke (148) was especially expert against England's two spinners, attacking Monty Panesar from the outset and taking a liking to Graeme Swann too in his record stand of 200 with Brad Haddin (118).

England dropped each of the sixth-wicket pair early in their innings and were powerless to resist thereafter as more than half of Australia’s mighty 570-9 declared was piled up by batsmen granted an early reprieve by missed chances. They were limited to 35 for one at the close, with captain Alastair Cook the man out to Mitchell Johnson for three.

The tourists will face an arduous task over the last three days to save this match, and therefore head for Perth next week still just 1-0 down with three to play. “It has been a very tough two days,” Stokes admitted.

“But we’ve got to put that behind us now, focus on what’s ahead — which is to battle on.” England’s bowlers, he believes, performed admirably in difficult circumstances. “I think as a unit we stuck at what we needed to do pretty well,” he said.

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