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It was in keeping with the script of the day that Rahul Dravid played an uncharacteristic swipe to effect his dismissal and tilt the momentum, in fine balance at that point, in Australia's favour. After the misery of Sydney, Perth provided an enthralling and rewarding day of Test cricket when the focus returned to the contest between bat and ball.

It didn't quite pan out as expected, though. The build-up to the Test had been breathless with everyone from the curator to former players to newcomers talking up Perth's restoration to its former fiery glory. The speed gun kept crossing 150 when Brett Lee had the new ball but, one hour into the second session, the field placements told the story.

Mitchell Johnson had gone back to his run-denying line, a foot or two outside the off stump with a seven-two field; Shaun Tait returned to bowl with point on the fence; Ricky Ponting stood at short mid-on to Andrew Symonds' gentle medium-pacers. By tea, Symonds and Michael Clarke were bowling spin at both ends. Even the breeze was blowing in the wrong direction, from south-east instead of south-west.

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