MELBOURNE (Agencies) - The clock is ticking for Australian captain Ricky Ponting after he made only 20 as part of his side's stagger towards Ashes defeat against England in the fourth Test. Needing 415 to make England bat again, Australia limped to 6-169 at stumps on day three. The end is nigh, with England making giant strides towards a win at the MCG to claim a 2-1 lead in the five-match series and retain the Ashes. Brad Haddin is 11 not out and Mitchell Johnson six not out for Australia, who gave the crowd of 68,733 little reason for optimism. Openers Phil Hughes and Shane Watson had breezed to 53 runs without loss in Australia's second innings. Watson pushed the ball to cover and called the young left-hander through for a suicidal single. Hughes, with his place in the side under threat, was run out for 23, his highest score of the series (53 at 13.25). Watson played no shot to Tim Bresnan and was lbw for 54 at 2-99. It was the 17th time Watson had passed the half-century mark, converting to a hundred only twice. Bresnan struck again as the under-siege Ponting, with a fractured little finger, played onto his stumps. Mike Hussey was caught at short cover for a duck as Australia lost 3-5. Recalled for Steve Finn, Bresnan claimed 3-26 from 15 overs. The 36-year-old Ponting's tally of 113 runs at 16.14 for the series continues his poor form, averaging 37.86 in 25 matches over the past two years. Vice-captain Michael Clarke (13) fell to spinner Graeme Swann at 5-134 in a key breakthrough for England. Youngster Steve Smith hit six fours in his 38, and then dragged an attempted pull shot onto his stumps at 6-159. Earlier, Australia bowled the tourists out for 513 at lunch. Aggressive quick Peter Siddle gave the MCG fans something to cheer about when the home-town hero bagged three of the five England wickets to fall on Tuesday to take 6-75 from 33.1 overs. It was Siddle's second six-wicket effort of the series. Jonathan Trott was unbeaten on 168, which gave him an amazing average of 100.83 in five matches against Australia. Ben Hilfenhaus doubled his wicket tally for the series, taking 2-83. Australia paceman Ryan Harris limped off the field with a stress fracture of his left ankle and is unlikely to bowl again in the match. The home side were bowled out for 98 on day one and Ponting was fined 40 per cent of his match fee for dissent after an on-field row with umpire Aleem Dar during the second day's play. ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle handed down the $5400 fine, saying the skipper's clash with Dar was 'unacceptable'. Ponting had been remonstrating with umpire Aleem Dar following an unsuccessful video referral for caught-behind against Kevin Pietersen. SCORECARD Australia first innings 98 England first innings (overnight 444-5) Strauss c Hussey b Siddle 69 Cook c Watson b Siddle 82 Trott not out 168 Pietersen lbw Siddle 51 Collingwood c Siddle b Johnson 8 Bell c Siddle b Johnson 1 Prior c Ponting b Siddle 85 Bresnan c Haddin b Siddle 4 Swann c Haddin b Hilfenhaus 22 Tremlett b Hilfenhaus 4 Anderson b Siddle 1 Extras: (lb-2, b-10, nb-3, w-3) 18 Total: (all out, 159.1 overs) 513 FOW: 1-159, 2-170, 3-262, 4-281, 5-286, 6-459, 7-465, 8-508, 9-512 Bowling: Hilfenhaus 37-13-83-2 (w-1), Harris 28.4-9-91-0, Johnson 29-2-134-2 (w-2, nb-2), Siddle 33.1-10-75-6 (nb-1), Watson 10-1-34-0, Smith 18-3-71-0, Clarke 3.2-0-13-0. Australia second innings S. Watson lbw Bresnan 54 P. Hughes run out 23 R. Ponting b Bresnan 20 M. Clarke c Strauss b Swann 13 M. Hussey c Bell b Bresnan 0 S. Smith b Anderson 38 B. Haddin not out 11 Johnson not out 6 Extras: (w-1, lb-2, b-1) 4 Total: (for six wkts, 66 overs) 169 FOW: 1-53, 2-99, 3-102, 4-104, 5-134, 6-158 To bat: R. Harris, P. Siddle, B. Hilfenhaus. Bowling: Anderson 16-1-62-1 (w-1), Tremlett 13-3-55-0, Swann 22-11-23-1, Bresnan 15-7-26-3.