MELBOURNE, Australia: Australia’s Mitchell Marsh hit a counter-attacking 96 in a fighting rescue mission with a dogged Steve Smith Thursday to help Australia pile up a 241-run lead and regain control of the second Test against Pakistan at the MCG.
Australia was reeling at 16-4 after dismissing Pakistan for 264 in reply to their first innings 318.
But Marsh and Smith put their heads down to score what could be a match-saving 153-run partnership.
At stumps on day three, the hosts were 187-6 with Smith out for 50 off 176 balls, in the last over of the day, leaving Alex Carey unbeaten on 16.
Mir Hamza and Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets each.
It could have been a different story but Pakistan’s star batter Abdullah Shafique spilled a regulation catch in the slips when Marsh was on 20. Marsh eventually fell four runs short of a deserved 100, but it took a superb one-handed diving catch at slip from Agha Salman to remove him.
Pakistan had begun day 3 on 194-6, after an electric spell from Cummins in the final session on Wednesday saw a collapse from 124-1, and the Australia captain was again in the thick of the action.