It certainly did not come easy but, by the close, England bowled themselves into a position of real supremacy on day four of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.
Ian Bell rightly took the plaudits early on as he converted his admirable effort on Friday into a wonderful century that enabled his side to set Australia an imposing victory target.
But, as you would expect, the Baggy Greens came out fighting and ensured England and their fans endured a tense wait before finally getting on top as the day drew to a close.
The waiting game
They had to be patient, but England made significant strides towards victory after a flurry of final session wickets at Trent Bridge on Saturday. After watching Stuart Broad complete an invaluable half-century and Ian Bell a quite superb hundred to stretch their lead over 300, the hosts always looked in charge of proceedings. But Australia's top order performed solidly and it wasn't until Broad removed Michael Clarke - and yes, of course a review was involved! - that England began to make the inroads they craved. Australia stumbled from 161-3 to 174-6 by the close and England will now be confident of finishing the job on Sunday.
Best of the day
Unlike the preceding three days there was no obvious candidate for our player of the day gong on Saturday. Ian Bell, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann all played important hands for England, but our nod goes to Australia opener Chris Rogers. The veteran left-hander, 35, is well-known to County Championship enthusiasts after a nomadic career on the English domestic scene, but announced himself on the international stage with his first half-century. His battling effort formed part of an opening stand of 84 with Shane Watson, offering his side real hope of chasing down their victory target of 311. Amongst the other highlights on day four was Mitchell Starc's opening ball of the day as the left-arm paceman channelled the spirit of Steve Harmison in the 2006/07 series.
He put in the hard yards on Friday as he stood firm to amass 95 crucial runs to put England into a position of power. On Saturday came the glory for Ian Bell as he completed a century many are calling his greatest ever in Test cricket. England's No.5 has now reached three figures no fewer than 18 times in the five-day format, but his latest will live long in the memory especially, as now seems likely, if it helps England to victory at Trent Bridge. "You talk about it in the dressing room and it means a lot to everyone in the 11. It's a real proud moment."
Ever the optimist
Things may look bleak for Australia, but don't expect Michael Clarke to throw in the towel. The Australian skipper remained pointedly upbeat when talking to Sky Sports at the close of day four and insists his side are still more than capable of pulling off what would be a remarkable success. The tourists require another 137 runs on Sunday from their final four wickets, but Clarke was only too happy to talk up their chances. "I think the other boys left to come in can certainly play handy roles so I'm still confident if we can start well tomorrow morning we can still win this Test match."
It's proved a major talking point throughout this Ashes contest and the past few series. England, and Jimmy Anderson in particular, have proved the masters, although Australia now seem to be catching on... but what exactly is 'reverse swing'? With this art-form of bowling likely to prove absolutely crucial this summer, the Sky Sports experts have stepped in to explain what goes into making the ball reverse.