The Ashes: Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh demolish England’s hopes with huge centuries

Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh have smashed enormous individual scores, demolishing England’s bowling attack on day three of the third Ashes Test.- MelbourneTv

At stumps, Smith (229*) and Marsh (181*) cut weary but content figures, having completely dismantled England’s bowlers and confidence in a partnership that moved beyond 300 late in the day.

Wagon wheel — S.P.D. Smith

Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018 – 3rd Test

Batting against: 
Runs 1s 2s 3s 4s 6s
229 83 14 0 28 1

In reaching his century, Smith showcased a knock in superb contrast to his match-winning Brisbane ton. Where at the Gabba he was the personification of patience (scoring the slowest 100 of his Test career), Smith was swift elegance in Perth, reaching his 100 in 138 balls, hitting 16 fours and one maximum en route to his quickest Test century.

Geoff Lemon’s analysis

When England last visited the WACA, the fourth day was the day of destruction. Or really just the first session of that day was enough.

Shane Watson was 29 not out overnight, then smashed 74 from 38 balls to raise his fourth and final Test hundred. George Bailey then took 28 runs from one Jimmy Anderson over, equalling the Test record that Bailey still shares with Brian Lara. A declaration just before lunch, the first delivery of an innings, and Ryan Harris bowled the best ball of his career to take out Alastair Cook’s off stump.

This time around, the day of destruction wasn’t quite as condensed or manic. But that only drew out the punishment. Australia’s fifth-wicket pair was immovable to such an extent that one point the ABC commentary team thought that the Marshes were interchangeable, debating how long it had been since a New South Welshman and a Western Australian batted through an entire day of Test cricket. Of course the day had begun with Shaun Marsh, but by its end, both Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith seemed eternal.

The only highlight for England came early in the first session as Moeen Ali, bowling a mostly ordinary collection of offbreaks, procured a big outside edge off Shaun Marsh’s defensive shot to nab a catch in the slips.

Out for 28, it was a missed opportunity for Shaun Marsh on a batsman’s wicket, but his younger brother Mitchell would make up for the brief family misfortune.

Mitchell Marsh’s driving game was impeccable, brutally powering pace and spin bowlers alike down the ground with regularity as he reached a half-ton in 75 balls, clubbing seven boundaries.

The runs wouldn’t stop. Nothing England did could stem the flow, as Smith reached his 150 to extend his batting average past a clean 62 — a figure second only to Don Bradman.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Marsh had manoeuvred himself into the nineties. The nerves would not last long as he crashed a four through point to move to 96, then cut Broad brutally through the same area again to bring up his maiden Test ton.Mitchell Marsh celebrates maiden Test ton at the WACA

It was dream stuff for Mitchell Marsh on his home turf, in an innings that featured just how formidable the all-rounder is at the straight drive, while his cut shots proved just as lucrative.

England had no answer. Even Joe Root sending himself on couldn’t provide the wicket the tourists craved, as Smith eased to a second Test double-century, raising both arms and roaring in the direction of the changing rooms.

The quickest double-century for Australia in nearly 80 years, Smith’s moment of joy was followed by another milestone, with Mitchell Marsh converting his maiden ton into a 150.

Manhattan / Worm

Australia v. England

Date:
14 December 2017
Match:
3rd Test
Venue:
W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth
Start time:
08:00
Umpires:
Marais Erasmus / Christopher Gaffaney
Toss:
England won the toss and elected to bat.

Australia lead England by 146 runs with 6 wickets remaining

OversRuns per overTotal runsEngland ManhattanEngland WormAustralia ManhattanAustralia Worm02550751001251500105152025300100200300400500600

In total, the pair laid on 301 unbeaten runs for the fifth wicket, with England looking almost completely broken by the time the umpires mercifully removed the bails from the stumps.

Both batsmen took the many singles that England offered and ruthlessly dispatched the bad balls when they came, right until the final overs of the day when fatigue took over but the runs didn’t stop flowing.

With rain seemingly on the horizon in the last two days of this Test, Smith’s thoughts regarding a declaration will be crucial, but it would be a surprise to see Marsh not given a chance to belt his way to a double-century on Sunday morning.

Weather permitting, the Ashes could be Australia’s again within days.

Wagon wheel — M.R. Marsh

Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018 – 3rd Test

Batting against: 
Runs 1s 2s 3s 4s 6s
181 35 9 4 29 0

Scorecard

Australia v England

Date:
14 December 2017
Match:
3rd Test
Venue:
W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth
Start time:
08:00
Umpires:
Marais Erasmus / Christopher Gaffaney
Toss:
England won the toss and elected to bat.

Australia lead England by 146 runs with 6 wickets remaining — Close of play

England First Innings
403 all out (115.1 overs)
Australia First Innings
549 for 4 (152.0 overs)
England First Innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s SR
Extras (1nb 1w 2lb 10b) Total 403 all out (115.1 overs)
Alastair Cook lbw Mitchell Starc 7 22 16 1 0 43.75
Mark Stoneman c Tim Paine b Mitchell Starc 56 178 110 10 0 50.91
James Vince c Tim Paine b Josh Hazlewood 25 92 63 4 0 39.68
Joe Root * c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins 20 36 23 4 0 86.96
Dawid Malan c sub b Nathan Lyon 140 322 227 19 1 61.67
Jonny Bairstow † b Mitchell Starc 119 319 215 18 0 55.35
Moeen Ali c Steven Smith b Pat Cummins 0 6 2 0 0 0
Chris Woakes c Pat Cummins b Josh Hazlewood 8 17 12 2 0 66.67
Craig Overton c Cameron Bancroft b Josh Hazlewood 2 13 7 0 0 28.57
Stuart Broad c Cameron Bancroft b Mitchell Starc 12 22 10 0 1 120
James Anderson not out 0 12 7 0 0 0
Bowling O M R W Econ nb w
Mitchell Starc 25.1 5 91 4 3.62 0 0
Josh Hazlewood 28 9 92 3 3.29 1 0
Pat Cummins 28 8 84 2 3.00 0 1
Nathan Lyon 22 4 73 1 3.32 0 0
Mitchell Marsh 9 1 43 0 4.78 0 0
Steven Smith 3 1 8 0 2.67 0 0
Fall of wickets Overs
26 Alastair Cook 4.4
89 James Vince 25.3
115 Joe Root 32.4
131 Mark Stoneman 37.5
368 Dawid Malan 106.5
372 Moeen Ali 107.2
389 Chris Woakes 110.5
389 Jonny Bairstow 111.2
393 Craig Overton 112.6
403 Stuart Broad 115.1
Australia First Innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s SR
Extras (1nb 1w 10lb 2b) Total 549 for 4 (152.0 overs)
Cameron Bancroft lbw Craig Overton 25 80 55 3 0 45.45
David Warner c Jonny Bairstow b Craig Overton 22 61 36 1 0 61.11
Usman Khawaja lbw Chris Woakes 50 156 123 8 0 40.65
Steven Smith * not out 229 556 390 28 1 58.72
Shaun Marsh c Joe Root b Moeen Ali 28 97 75 4 0 37.33
Mitchell Marsh not out 181 319 234 29 0 77.35
Tim Paine †
Mitchell Starc
Pat Cummins
Josh Hazlewood
Nathan Lyon
Bowling O M R W Econ nb w
James Anderson 29 8 85 0 2.93 1 0
Stuart Broad 28 3 112 0 4.00 0 0
Chris Woakes 32 4 108 1 3.38 0 1
Craig Overton 23 1 102 2 4.43 0 0
Moeen Ali 31 4 104 1 3.35 0 0
Joe Root 3 0 13 0 4.33 0 0
Dawid Malan 6 1 13 0 2.17 0 0
Fall of wickets Overs
44 David Warner 13.2
55 Cameron Bancroft 17.2
179 Usman Khawaja 51.1
248 Shaun Marsh 74.4

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