Ricky Ponting became Australia's pinnacle Test centurion with his 33rd hundred and Mike Hussey narrowly missed a ton to lead a home recovery on the third day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The skipper cashed in after being dropped on 35 to reach 142 as the Australians moved within 40 runs of the 352-run follow-on target in reply to England's imposing first innings of 551 for six declared.
At the close, Australia were 312 for five with Michael Clarke on 30 and Adam Gilchrist on 13.
It was 31-year-old Ponting's 10th century in his last 13 Tests -- he has played in 107 in all -- and took him past previous captain Steve Waugh's 32 centuries off 168 Tests.
"We were clawing our way back into the game and for me to get out when I did was disappointing, but I think Michael Clarke has looked terrific and Gilly's (Gilchrist) started off really well so the first hour tomorrow is going to be crucial for us," Ponting said.
"If they can get a good partnership then we're going to be right back in the game.
"We just have to keep batting and get a little way in front and try to bowl them out is the best way (to win) at the moment. If we can get somewhere near their total or maybe a little bit in front that would be great."
Ponting now ranks outright all-time fourth behind Sachin Tendulkar (35), Brian Lara and Sunil Gavaskar (both 34) as the scorer of most hundreds in Tests.