Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

England Ashes hopes fade as Smith and Marsh put attack to sword

Australian batsmen Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh put England’s attack to the sword on the third day of the third Test in Perth Saturday, leaving the tourists praying for rain to salvage their hopes of retaining the Ashes.

The home side took total control of the match and were 549 for four in their first innings by stumps, with Smith on 229 and Marsh on 181, leading the hapless tourists by 146 runs with six wickets still in hand.

Australia lead the series 2-0 and can regain the Ashes with victory at the WACA Ground, with England’s hopes of staying alive in the five-match series seemingly resting with the local weather.

Heavy rain is forecast for the fourth day, but is not predicted to arrive until late in the afternoon, reducing the chances of a draw.

It was a horrendous day for England, who claimed just one wicket for the day at a cost of 346 runs.

Smith notched his second Test double-century in his highest Test score, and passed 1,000 runs in the calendar year, while Marsh answered his critics to post his maiden Test ton on his home ground.

Smith and Marsh dominated the flagging England attack to put on an unbroken stand of 301 for the fifth wicket without even offering a single chance.

It is the highest partnership for Australia against England at the WACA.

Captain Joe Root even turned to the part-time leg-spin of Dawid Malan late in the day in search of a desperately needed breakthrough.

Resuming on 92, Smith reached his 22nd Test hundred early in the day from the 138th ball he faced, his quickest Test century in terms of balls faced.

Coming in his 107th Test knock, only Don Bradman (58 innings) and Sunil Gavaskar (101 innings) have reached 22 Test centuries in fewer innings.

He then reached his double-hundred from 301 balls, including 26 fours and one six, although he was content to milk easy singles against a defensive field as he reached the milestone.

Marsh came to the crease under huge pressure to perform after a contentious recall, and having dropped a simple catch and bowled poorly during the England innings.

He started nervously but blossomed as his innings went on and notched his maiden Test century from the penultimate over before tea on his home ground, sparking scenes of jubilation from a parochial crowd.

Marsh had faced 130 balls for his hundred and a number of powerful drives were a feature of his landmark Test innings.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Deputy president Mabuza begs Tshwane voters: ‘Don’t abandon the ANC’

Angry Atteridgeville residents hurl insults at ‘dysfunctional’ ANC full of ‘corrupt individuals’ as Mabuza fails to placate them with party T-shirts and doeks

Taxi operators clash with cops over disputed Route B97 in...

Three suspects remain in custody following their arrest on charges of attempted murder and assault after eight taxis were impounded

SA teens, you’re next in the queue for a vaccine...

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to register to receive their Covid-19 jab from 20 October. This group will be given only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, for now

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies aged 84

The 84-year-old died as a result of complications from Covid-19
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×