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Australia take 241-run lead against Pakistan as Mitch Marsh misses out on ton

Mitch Marsh led the way for Australia as they took a dominant lead against Pakistan, whose fielding let them down on day three of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

The hosts reached stumps 241 runs ahead on 187 for six, with Marsh's 96 leading the way. That was the highest score of a low-scoring match but Abdullah Shafique gave him a life on just 20, shelling a regulation chance at first slip.

Shafique, who also reprieved David Warner on the first morning, watched on as Marsh cashed in his good fortune to take the game away from his side.

Australia had been 46 for four in their second innings when the catch went down off Aamer Jamal, at risk of a game-changing collapse, but Marsh's knock and a hard-working 50 from Steve Smith put things right.

Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mir Hamza, who finally dismissed Marsh four short of his century, kept Pakistan alive with three wickets each.

Earlier they had been bowled out for 264, losing their final six wickets for 70 as Pat Cummins sealed figures of five for 48.

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