Shaun Marsh proves fitness for SA Tests with half-century

South Australia 2 for 16 (Ferguson 13*, Mennie 1*, Behrendorff 2-3) trail Western Australia 9 for 271 dec (S Marsh 73, Klinger 61, Mennie 3-56) by 255 runs
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Shaun Marsh proved his form and fitness with 73 ahead of Australia’s home Test series against South Africa © Getty Images

Shaun Marsh marked his return from injury with a half-century on the opening day of Western Australia’s 600th Sheffield Shield match. They declared on 9 for 271 and were able to dismiss the South Australian openers cheaply before close of play.

Marsh’s 73 off 151 balls at the top of the order has come as a welcome sign with the national selectors picking the Test squad to face South Africa on Friday. He is the incumbent opener, having scored a century in Australia’s last Test, against Sri Lanka in Colombo, but he had torn his hamstring in a Matador Cup match earlier this month.

This day-night Shield game, for Marsh, was a way to prove his fitness and he felt good having come through it. Besides hitting nine fours, he ran 23 singles, four twos and two threes over 206 minutes at the crease.

“I’ve had no issues with the hammy and I ran out there at maximum speed,” Marsh told the West Australian. “I was concerned when I did it [injured myself] because I’ve had hamstring issues in the past but I knew it wasn’t that bad and it has come good in the past couple of days.”

The first Test against South Africa begins in Perth on November 3. But Marsh wasn’t keen on looking that far ahead. “I will worry about this game first and see where it takes us,” he said.

The other notable contribution of the Western Australian innings came from Michael Klinger. His 61 off 97 balls included eight fours but his wicket led to a middle-order collapse – six wickets fell for 60 runs before the ninth-wicket partnership between Jason Behrendorff and Ryan Duffield, who struck 20 of his 23 runs in fours, frustrated South Australia. The declaration came when the stand was broken in the 80th over, having added 38 runs.

Behrendorff continued causing trouble for the visitors, dismissing Kelvin Smith and Jake Weatherald in the third over. South Australia ended the day on 16 for 2, trailing by 255 runs.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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