Home Cricket Australia v Pakistan: Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith help hosts to 241-run lead on day three

Australia v Pakistan: Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith help hosts to 241-run lead on day three

by admin
Boxing Day Test

In the thrilling Australia vs. Pakistan Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, day three ended with the hosts holding a commanding 241-run lead. It was a day of remarkable twists and turns that had cricket fans on the edge of their seats.

The Australian team found themselves in a precarious position early on, as they slumped to 16-4 in their second innings, with a lead of only 70 runs. The Pakistani bowlers were causing havoc, and the pressure was mounting. But just when it seemed like Pakistan might seize the advantage, Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith came to the rescue with a crucial fifth-wicket partnership that turned the game on its head.

Mitchell Marsh was the hero of the day, scoring a brilliant 96 runs from 130 balls. His aggressive stroke play and resilience under pressure were a sight to behold. He single-handedly thwarted the Pakistani attack and propelled Australia to a position of strength.

However, the highlight of the day was Steve Smith’s half-century, which came to a dramatic end. He fell to the last ball of the day, bowled by Shaheen Afridi, when he was on 50 runs. Smith’s dismissal injected a glimmer of hope for Pakistan, who knew that breaking this partnership was essential to their chances.

But what truly haunted Pakistan was Abdullah Shafique’s dropped catch of Marsh when he was just on 20 runs. It was a missed opportunity that could prove costly in the context of the match.

Pakistan began the day trailing by 124 runs, with the score at 194-6 in their first innings. Mohammad Rizwan’s valiant 42 and contributions from Aamer Jamal (33 not out) and Shaheen Afridi (21) reduced their deficit to a mere 54 runs. The resilience of the lower order gave Pakistan a fighting chance.

Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, was once again the standout performer with the ball, finishing with impressive figures of 5-48. His ability to pick up wickets at crucial junctures was pivotal to Australia’s success. Nathan Lyon, the off-spinner, also played his part, taking four important wickets for 73 runs as Pakistan was eventually bowled out for 264.

Pakistan’s response with the new ball was impressive, as Shaheen Afridi dismissed Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne early on. Mir Hamza then delivered a double blow, removing David Warner for just six and sending Travis Head back to the pavilion without scoring.

However, Marsh and Smith’s partnership changed the game’s momentum. Marsh, in particular, was exceptional, reaching a counter-attacking 50 from 70 balls. It was a display of aggressive batting that kept the Pakistani bowlers at bay.

Mir Hamza, who finished with figures of 3-27, finally got his man when he had Marsh caught at slip by Salman Agha. And as if scripted for dramatic effect, the day ended with Shaheen Afridi delivering a hostile short ball that Smith gloved to gully, departing for 50 runs from 176 balls.

As the sun sets on day three, Alex Carey remains unbeaten on 16, and Australia’s lead stands at a formidable 241 runs. Pakistan faces a daunting challenge as they look to chase down the target on a wearing pitch. With the match finely poised, day four promises more excitement and drama in this enthralling Test match. Cricket enthusiasts around the world will be eagerly awaiting the action to unfold.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Boxing Day Test

What happened on day three of the Australia vs. Pakistan Boxing Day Test in Melbourne?

On day three of the Australia vs. Pakistan Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Australia took control of the match, finishing the day with a lead of 241 runs over Pakistan. Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith played pivotal roles in this turnaround, with Marsh scoring 96 runs and Smith contributing 50. Pakistan had a chance to break the partnership but dropped a crucial catch. In their first innings, Pakistan’s lower order showed resilience, reducing their deficit to 54 runs. Australia’s Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon were the standout bowlers, with Cummins taking 5 wickets, while Lyon claimed 4. Pakistan responded well with the new ball but couldn’t capitalize fully. The day ended with Alex Carey unbeaten on 16, setting up an intriguing day four.

Who were the key performers on day three of the Test match?

Mitchell Marsh was the standout performer for Australia, scoring a brilliant 96 runs and leading a crucial fifth-wicket partnership with Steve Smith, who contributed 50 runs. Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, played a pivotal role with the ball, taking 5 wickets. Nathan Lyon also made significant contributions, picking up 4 wickets. For Pakistan, Mir Hamza’s bowling performance was notable, as he took 3 wickets for 27 runs.

How did Pakistan fare in their first innings, and who were the key contributors?

Pakistan started the day with their first innings, trailing by 124 runs. Mohammad Rizwan played a crucial innings of 42, and lower-order batsmen Aamer Jamal (33 not out) and Shaheen Afridi (21) showed resilience, reducing Pakistan’s deficit to just 54 runs. This lower-order fightback allowed Pakistan to stay competitive in the match.

What was the turning point of the day, and how did it affect the match?

The turning point of the day came when Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith forged a crucial fifth-wicket partnership of 153 runs. Marsh’s aggressive batting and Smith’s resilience turned the match in Australia’s favor. However, Smith’s dismissal on the last ball of the day gave Pakistan a glimmer of hope. Pakistan will rue the dropped catch of Marsh when he was on 20 runs, as it could have made a significant difference in the outcome of the day.

What are the prospects for day four of the Test match?

As day three ended, Australia holds a commanding lead of 241 runs, with Alex Carey unbeaten on 16. Pakistan faces a challenging task of chasing down the target on a wearing pitch. Day four promises more excitement and drama in this closely contested Test match, with both teams having a chance to shape the outcome. Cricket enthusiasts can look forward to an intriguing day of play.

More about Boxing Day Test

Related Articles


SportsGeek17 December 28, 2023 - 8:48 pm

Pakistan gav it their all in first innings, but Aus bowlers wer strong!

InfoJunkie21 December 28, 2023 - 10:37 pm

Gud article, but shud’ve mentnd Usman Khawaja’s early exit too.

CricketFan42 December 29, 2023 - 5:21 am

wow, aus vs pak match really turnt intense, smith nd marsh takin charge, epic!

MelbourneMate December 29, 2023 - 4:18 pm

Mir Hamza woz on fire, takin crucial wickets, but Marsh saved Aus.

CricLover88 December 29, 2023 - 4:25 pm

Smith’s dismissal late in the day added suspense, nail-biter ahead!


Leave a Comment