Australia removed England skipper Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott cheaply to put England under early pressure in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba on Friday.
After being dismissed for 295 early on day two, the home side battled back in the 78 minutes' batting time to lunch when Ryan Harris coaxed an edge off Cook to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 13.
It was a psychological breakthrough for the Australians after Cook scored an unbeaten 235 in the drawn corresponding Test at the Gabba ground three years ago.
Recalled pace bowler Mitchell Johnson followed up snaring the wicket of Trott, who tickled one down the leg-side to Haddin for 10 leaving the tourists on 55 for two at lunch.
Opener Michael Carberry, playing in only his second Test, was 31 not out with Kevin Pietersen next in to bat after the interval.
Trott proved a big success in the last Ashes series in Australia, scoring 445 runs at 89.00 with two centuries.
The first innings by Australia, defending a 25-year unbeaten record at the famous Brisbane ground, ended on 295 when Haddin was run out chasing a century.
The veteran wicketkeeper, 78 not out overnight, attempted a risky second run on 94 but was beaten by Carberry's throw from deep point to Matt Prior behind the stumps.
Haddin faced 153 balls and hit eight fours and a six in his spirited knock which steadied the Australian innings after teetering at 132 for six.
Stuart Broad, England's hero of the first day, walked off the Gabba holding the match ball aloft in tribute to his six for 81 off 24 overs.
Broad captured the other Australian wicket to fall in the morning, having Ryan Harris caught behind.
Harris failed to get his bat away from a Broad lifter and edged to Prior for nine in the day's third over, giving the paceman his sixth wicket of the innings.
Broad shattered the Australia top order on the opening day, snaring the wickets of Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, David Warner and Johnson.
Haddin was on 82 when last man Nathan Lyon came into bat with England captain Cook setting the field to encourage the wicketkeeper to get off strike and concentrate on taking Lyon's wicket.
But it was Haddin's anxiety to complete his fourth Test century that cost him in the end and he continued his sprint off the ground straight into the dressing room rather than accept the home crowd's applause.
Australia, who have not lost at the Gabba since falling to the West Indies in 1988, are bidding to avoid losing four Ashes series in a row for the first time in 123 years.