Shane Watson scored just the third hundred of his Test career as England checked Australia's progress on the first day of the Ashes finale at The Oval on Wednesday.

At tea Australia were 183 for three, having been 112 for one at lunch, with Watson, dropped on 104, 121 not out and Steven Smith 15 not out.

The second session saw England spearhead James Anderson (two for 21) bowl Australia captain Michael Clarke to go clear in second place on England's all-time list of leading Test wicket-takers, AFP reported.