Dan Brettig praises Shaun Marsh’s patience as his hundred took the 2nd Ashes Test away from England. (0:42)
Dinner Australia 7 for 409 (Marsh 102*, Cummins 44*) v England
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Australia’s selectors picking Shaun Marsh, and Joe Root sending Australia in to bat. If these were two of the more controversial decisions made in relation to this Ashes series, only one now appears an inspired call. At dinner on the second day at Adelaide Oval, Marsh had pulled and driven his way to the fifth hundred of his Test career, steering Australia past 400 in the process. England, five sessions after Root won the toss, had still not bowled Australia out.
At the long break, Marsh was on 102 and Pat Cummins was on 44, and Australia’s total had moved along to 7 for 409. Having added 97 for the loss of two wickets in the opening session, Australia grew their score by a further 103 runs in the second session, for just one wicket. The Marsh-Cummins partnership had ballooned to 98 runs, Australia’s most productive stand of the match, and England had missed a chance to break it in the final over of the session.
The penultimate delivery of the session was a bouncer from Chris Woakes that was fended by Marsh into the air on the off side. Alastair Cook at a floating second slip and James Vince at gully converged and both dived for the chance, which was spilled as a result of their combined efforts. It was a life for Marsh on 102, and summed up England’s day perfectly.
Marsh reached triple figures from his 213th delivery with a perfectly placed pull for four off Woakes, an appropriate stroke given how productive the shot had been for him in this innings. It was Marsh’s first Test hundred since the tour of Sri Lanka in August last year, and took him past his father Geoff’s tally of Test centuries from exactly half the amount of matches.
He had lifted his rate after the tea break, having batted through the two-and-a-half-hour opening session for just 29 runs as Tim Paine, another surprising inclusion for this series, struck a brisk half-century. Cummins had also lifted his tempo after a slow start: he failed to get off the mark until his 37th delivery, when he sliced a cut for four off Craig Overton, and from then on he scored at nearly a run a ball.
The only wicket to fall in the session came early, when Mitchell Starc was hurried by a quicker bouncer from Stuart Broad and pulled a catch straight up to mid-on for 6. For the second time in the day, Broad had struck early in a session, having claimed a wicket with the third ball of the day when he hooped one in to trap Peter Handscomb lbw for 36 with no addition to his overnight score.
But England’s hopes of running through the Australia lower order were thwarted by Paine, who showed his intent early by going after loose deliveries from Anderson and finding the boundary on several occasions.
Both Paine and Marsh were given out lbw to Anderson by umpire Chris Gaffaney in quick succession, but on both occasions the batsmen reviewed and were reprieved by the ball-tracker showing the ball would have sailed over the top of the stumps. It was evidence of good bounce and carry from the Adelaide Oval pitch, which was also on display when Overton rapped Paine on his right hand, sending concern through the Australian camp given Paine’s injury history.
However, Paine batted on and brought up his fifty from his 91st delivery, before pulling a catch straight to Moeen Ali in the deep off Overton late in the session for 57. It meant Paine had missed out on a chance to build just the second century of his first-class career – the first one having come 11 years ago – but he had done more than enough for the Australians, who were well on their way to a position of some comfort.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo