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Marsh posts maiden Test century as Australia take lead

Mitchell Marsh scored his maiden Test century as Australia took a first-innings lead against England on day three in Perth.

Marsh (100 not out) and Steve Smith (182no) were in complete control during the second session of the third Ashes Test on Saturday.

Playing his 22nd Test, Marsh silenced his doubters in style, playing several powerful drives in a fine innings, while Smith posted the highest Ashes score at the WACA, Australia reaching 421-4 at tea – a lead of 18.

With the pitch offering little to bowlers, Marsh and Smith scored 107 runs off 26 overs during the middle session, taking their partnership to 173.

Australia, back on track to reclaim the urn in Perth despite rain being forecast on the final two days, were 314-4 at lunch and they quickly cruised closer to England’s first-innings total of 403.

There was little movement in the WACA surface, with only some variable bounce causing slight problems.

A pair of Smith edges fell short of slip but the captain and Marsh were otherwise in complete control.

Summing up England’s day, they reviewed an lbw decision against Smith only for replays to show James Anderson (0-76) had overstepped, although the outcome would have favoured the skipper on umpire’s call in any case.

The tourists were unable to apply any real pressure as Marsh and Smith scored freely, the former bringing up his century with a square drive just before tea.