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Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Friday, 17 December 2010

Ashes: Ian Bell hopeful of England fightback in Perth

Third Ashes Test, Perth (day two, close):
Australia 268 & 119-3 v England 187
Venue: Waca Date: 16-20 December. Play resumes 0230 GMT on 18 Dec Coverage: Live on Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 live sports extra and online; live highlights and day's review on the TMS podcast ; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4
Match scorecard

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'Outstanding' Johnson impresses Stewart

England batsman Ian Bell says the tourists need early wickets on Saturday to get back into the third Ashes Test.

England were skittled for a paltry 187 on day two and trail Australia by 200 runs with the hosts 119-3 in their second innings in Perth.

"If we can get early wickets that will set up a great chase and a great Test match," Bell told BBC Sport.

"The target for us is to win the first hour in the morning, that is as far as we need to look."

He added: "If we can get two wickets in the first hour it puts the pressure back on Australia, who have got people like Steve Smith who have not played a lot of Ashes cricket."

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson produced a devastating display of swing bowling as the hosts roared back into Ashes contention in Perth.

England were 78-0 when the left-armer (6-38) demolished the middle-order with a spell of four wickets for seven runs.

Bell, who top-scored with 53, told Test Match Special: "Credit to Mitchell Johnson, who got the ball to swing. You can do that with the breeze here.

"We will have to play him a lot better in the second innings but a lot of our guys have a lot of confidence and runs behind them.

Tom Fordyce's blog
Stuart Broad on Mitchell Johnson

"We knew Australia would come back at some point. It was a tough day for us.

"It is not a bad wicket but a lot of wickets have fallen in the two days. There is a little bit of bounce but generally it gets better as the game goes on."

Johnson failed to take a wicket in the first Test in Brisbane and, after being dropped for the second Test in Adelaide, has returned with a bang in Perth, with his exploits ending a run of troubled form in spectacular style.

"I got the first wicket and I was very happy with that, finally contributing something to the series," said Johnson.

"But it gave me confidence and I have got to thank the guys out there - Ben Hilfenhaus bowled a really good spell with me and we bowled really well as a unit."

He added: "I have done a fair bit of work with bowling coach Troy Cooley and fitness coach Stuart Carpenter and it has paid the price.

"I have looked at Brisbane and I was disappointed. I was getting off the wicket really quickly and I needed to get that driving forward. You saw the ball swing and that was the result of it [the change]."

Johnson top-scored in Australia's first innings with a knock of 62 and is hopeful the under-fire hosts can win to level the series 1-1.

"There has been a lot of criticism but we cannot think about that too much," said Johnson. "We feel that we have not been too far off - we have just got to out and give it our best every time."

Listen to commentary highlights from day two (UK users only)

TMS podcast: Agnew and Boycott's review (available worldwide)



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see also
Johnson burst ignites Australia
17 Dec 10 |  England
Third Ashes Test in photos
17 Dec 10 |  England
Johnson savours 'good day'
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Bell hoping for early wickets
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Justin Langer's key moments
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Friday's Ashes gossip column
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tremlett puts England in command
16 Dec 10 |  England
Tremlett delighted by performance
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Waugh joins Ponting future debate
16 Dec 10 |  Australia
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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