London: Mitchell Starc took six wickets and captain Michael Clarke scored a fifty but Australia did not have things all their own way on Friday`s third day of four against Essex at Chelmsford in their final warm-up match before next week`s first Ashes Test.
Essex resumed on 299 for three, following Tom Westley`s excellent 144, with skipper Ravi Bopara unbeaten on 86.
Former England all-rounder Bopara went on to make 107 in a total of 414, with left-arm fast bowler Starc taking six for 51 as he ran through the tail.
Clarke, out for a duck in Australia`s first innings 562, made 77 after his side had slumped to 76 for four before the tourists reached stumps on 212 for eight, a lead of 360 runs.
Earlier, Bopara delighted his home crowd by going to a hundred off 165 balls, including 13 fours, before former New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder (10) clipped medium-pacer Mitchell Marsh to backward square leg.
The morning drinks break saw a minute`s silence observed in memory of the victims of the Tunisia terror attack.
When play resumed, Starc ensured Essex`s first innings did not last long, ending the home side`s effort when he knocked over Tom Moore`s stumps.
Australia`s David Warner fell cheaply, bowled by Jamie Porter for four, before fellow opener Chris Rogers, looking to regain his Test place after being ruled out of the 2-0 series win in the Caribbean because of concussion, was caught behind off Matt Salisbury for 32.
Adam Voges and Shane Watson both exited for single figure scores before Mitchell Marsh cut Salisbury into his own stumps on 37.
Clarke looked in good touch until bowled by spinner Aron Nijjar, having faced 131 balls including six fours and two sixes.