AUS vs PAK, 2nd Test: Mitchell Marsh's counter-attack rescues Australia on Day 3 in Melbourne
Mitchell Marsh's resilient 96 and a determined partnership with Steve Smith led Australia's fightback against Pakistan on Day 3 of the Melbourne Test. Overcoming a challenging situation at 16-4, the duo crafted a crucial 153-run stand, guiding Australia to a commanding 241-run lead.
On Day 3 of the 2nd Test, Mitchell Marsh's resilient 96, accompanied by a determined Steve Smith, orchestrated a crucial counter-attack, guiding Australia to a 241-run lead against Pakistan. The hosts faced adversity at 16-4 after dismissing Pakistan for 264 in response to their 318 in the first innings. Despite the challenging situation, Marsh and Smith formed a vital 153-run partnership, providing stability. At stumps, Australia stood at 187-6, with Smith's dismissal for 50 in the final over and Alex Carey unbeaten on 16. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mir Hamza impressed with three wickets each. Abdullah Shafique's dropped catch at slips when Marsh was on 20 proved pivotal. Marsh fell just short of a century, caught superbly by Agha Salman.
Earlier, Cummins (5-48) and Lyon (4-73) dismantled Pakistan. Facing a tricky 15-minute morning session, Australia lost Khawaja for a duck and Labuschagne for five. Warner's dismissal marked a poignant moment as he bid farewell to the MCG. Head's departure left Australia reeling at 16-4. Marsh and Smith's partnership eased the pressure, with Marsh aggressively countering Aamer Jamal. Smith played a supportive role, reaching a gritty half-century, guiding Australia to a commanding position.
Pakistan, starting the day at 194-6, faced Cummins' prowess again. Rizwan's confident start ended as Cummins induced a drive straight to Warner. Afridi, showcasing aggressive batting, fell to Lyon. Jamal played assertively, scoring 33 not out, but Cummins dismissed Hasan Ali, and Lyon had Hamza stumped, concluding Pakistan's innings.