Ian Bell's unbeaten century helped turn the fourth Test in England's favour in Durham.
Bell finished the third day on 105 not out as England recovered from 49-3 to build a lead of 202.
Joe Root, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott all fell cheaply as Ryan Harris gave Australia hope, however Bell - along with useful cameos from Kevin Pietersen (44) and Jonny Bairstow (28) - guided the hosts to 234-5 at stumps.
Malcolm Knox - Sydney Morning Herald
You would have to travel the world to find a fellow cricketer who will not give [Ryan Harris] a glowing character reference. He has a British passport, and might have been playing for the other side. Heaven help us. He came to Test cricket late in life, because his skills took time to develop, his body was unreliable, and selectors were not quick to recognise a bowler who wasn't as tall, lithe or fast as fashion dictated. This Ashes cause may be lost, but the series scoreline ought to record such heroes, whether they be unsung or, as Harris deserves, sung.
Wayne Smith - The Australian
Just when Shane Watson was starting to marvel at his body's ability to handle an ever-increasing bowling workload, he has broken down in the Durham Test. Watson was three deliveries into his 20th over of the fourth Ashes Test when he pulled up short in his follow-through and dropped his head in despair, instantly realising he had suffered yet another injury. Leaving Jackson Bird to complete the over for him, Watson trudged off dejectedly to be assessed by team doctor Peter Brukner and physiotherapist Alex Kountouris. A team spokesman later revealed the powerfully built all-rounder was suffering from pain in his right hip/groin but said that the medical staff needed time for the injury to settle down before they could properly diagnose the problem.
Richard Hinds - Sydney Daily Telegraph
Ian Bell's third century of the series proved crucial. Holding a first innings lead of 32, Australia had seemed well on top when Ryan Harris took three early wickets to reduce England to 3-49 just after lunch. However, first in a 106 run stand with Kevin Pietersen, then in the late evening sunshine, Bell's tight, technically precise batting helped England accumulate a lead that will already cause the Australians some anxiety given their top order batting woes. While Nathan Lyon and Harris both bowled good spells to Bell, he rarely looked troubled. One inside edge from Harris that went past the leg stump, and an edge that eluded Michael Clarke at first slip when he was 97, were the only half-chances offered.
Paul Newman - Daily Mail
It might not have quite the same ring to it as 'Botham's Ashes', but if there is a DVD to be made from this year's series then it must surely now at least have the working title of 'Belly's Ashes.' The script remains a work in progress, but if Ian Bell can convert his third century of the series into a 'daddy' one on Monday, then take this fourth Test beyond Australia, his place in the pantheon of Ashes heroes will be secured. The only other contender for most influential performer so far is the Decision Review System, or perhaps the bungling umpires, and it is doubtful that there would be a market for the 'DRS Ashes' and certainly not 'Tony Hill's urn'.
Andy Bull - Guardian
Ian Bell's Ashes. It has rather a fine ring to it, as crisp as the summer sunshine that lit up the Riverside as Bell raised his bat in celebration of his third century of the series, and his fourth in five Ashes Tests. Until that point, the quick wind meant the rain clouds came and went, some skirting around the ground, others looming overhead. The weather has been as precarious as either side's fortunes, and its mutability has meant that the ball, like the match itself, has swung back and forth. It has been balanced, poised en pointe, for three days. Bell, slight as he is, seems an unlikely sort to tip the see-saw, but his weight of runs have done exactly that.
Simon Hughes - Daily Telegraph
By the time the cathedral clock struck 12 England's Bell had his pads on and was ready to deliver his sermon. Thou shalt not get past my straight bat was his first commandment and he practised what he preached for most of the afternoon. He was still in residence by the time the ringers were summoning the faithful to Evensong. It was an immaculate performance. There were no flowery shots, or flirty wafts, or incomprehensible dances up the pitch to lob the ball to mid-off. The defence was impregnable, the footwork certain, the bat swing controlled. He recognised that playing casually across the line of straight balls or driving on the up were shots loaded with risk, so he cut them out of his game.
John Townsend - The Independent
Sussex's loss has been Australia's gain. Ryan Harris took just three deliveries at Durham to demonstrate why Australia have been so eager to get him into the Test team. The burly quick bowler is a game-changer. He pushes 90mph, but makes the ball leap and spit like a dollop of fat on a barbecue plate. Harris bowls enough balls to test a batsman's technique, but it is the ones that test their health and well-being that put him in the class of the elite.