Melbourne, Dec. 28 (ANI): At the close of the third day's play in the first Test against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia held a 307-run lead with seven wickets remaining.
Australia were 111 for three in their second innings at stumps today after bowling Pakistan out for 258 just before tea for a first-innings lead of 196.
Shane Watson made Australia's 21st half-century of the season and has the opportunity tomorrow to convert his unbeaten 64 into his country's first century this summer.
Watson and Michael Clarke (21 not out) steadied their side after Australia slumped to 3-40 on a third day that produced wickets for the new ball and breathed life into a grind of a game.
Mohammad Asif had Simon Katich (two) caught behind in the seventh over and Mohammad Aamer brought his side to life with the wickets of Ricky Ponting (12) and Mike Hussey (four) in successive overs.
For the second time this match Hussey referred to the video when adjudged LBW and he was again unsuccessful, the third umpire again ruling him out.
Aamer also bowled a torrid spell to Watson, blowing a few kisses for good measure, but the Australian opener survived and posted his second half-century for the match, following his 93 on Boxing Day.
He will aim tomorrow to turn his start into his maiden Test hundred and the team will be mindful of scoring quickly enough to give themselves plenty of time to bowl Pakistan out a second time.
Earlier, left arm fast bowler Doug Bollinger took three wickets to effect a Pakistani collapse of 4-17 across eight overs just after lunch.
Misbah-ul-Haq's unbeaten 65 ensured Pakistan avoided the follow-on, cleverly rotating the strike with No.11 Saeed Ajmal.
Mitchell Johnson eventually bowled Ajmal to finish off the innings and claim the bowling honours with 3-36, while Bollinger ended with 3-50. (ANI)