James Anderson starred for England as Australia faced the prospect of following on in the second npower Ashes Test at Lord's.
Anderson claimed four for 36, following an impressive 29 with the bat, as Australia took refuge in the dressing room on 156 for eight when bad light halted play on the second evening.
That meant they required another 70 runs to avoid being asked to bat again by England captain Andrew Strauss.
After a mini-collapse early in the morning session, including the dismissal of Strauss for his overnight 161, England were boosted by a 10th-wicket stand by Anderson, hero of the final hour with the bat in the series opener, and Graham Onions.
They shared 47 runs in just over 45 minutes to carry their side to 425 all out.
Lancashire paceman Anderson then claimed four wickets either side of the rain showers in London as Australia were blitzed in the gloom.
Anderson struck twice with the new ball before lunch to undermine the start to Australia's innings.
Left-hander Phillip Hughes gloved one down the leg side in the third over.
The prize scalp of Australia captain Ricky Ponting followed in controversial circumstances as Rudi Koertzen, standing in his 100th Test, referred a double appeal by England.
Anderson, shouting for leg before in the first instance, officially dismissed Ponting caught at slip after Koertzen adjudged that the ball had ballooned behind the stumps off combination of inside edge and pad.
Television replays showed that no contact had been made with bat and that Ponting could justifiably have been given out lbw.
He then struck in his first over back from the nursery end, following two stoppages for rain, when Michael Clarke clipped a delivery which tailed in straight to short midwicket.
And Marcus North, a centurion in the opening match of the series, perished when his attempted pull diverted the ball into middle stump off the bottom edge.
Light rain then fell as the groundstaff covered the square and play was officially called off for the day shortly after 6.40pm.