Shaun Marsh batted himself into contention for next month’s World Cup with a match-winning solo effort in Australia’s 46-run win over England yesterday at the Bellerive Oval.
Marsh, left out of Australia’s World Cup squad named on Tuesday and the only player not in that squad playing yesterday, posted his second one-day international (ODI) century as Australia made 230 from 48.2 overs after being sent in to bat by England.
In reply, England never recovered from an early double-strike by paceman Doug Bollinger (4-28), who also contributed valuable tail-end runs with the bat. They were dismissed for just 184 in 45 overs as Australia took a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.
However, the win came at considerable cost for Australia, with spinner Nathan Hauritz, in his first international of the season, appearing to dislocate his right shoulder in the field and place his World Cup hopes in jeopardy.
All summer, Australia’s best performances have relied on just one or two brilliant individual efforts.
In game one of the series, it was Shane Watson’s 161 not out, and this time it was the recalled Marsh.
Batting at No. 6, the left-handed Marsh brought up his century in the best fashion possible, lofting Michael Yardy over mid-wicket for six from the 101st delivery he faced, having hit the previous two balls for four.
Marsh was the last man to fall, caught on the boundary having faced 114 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes.
The home side were in deep trouble at 142-8, before Marsh and number 10 Bollinger rallied to the cause by adding an unlikely 88, a record ninth-wicket stand for Australia in ODIs.
Not for the first time in this southern hemisphere summer, Australia’s top order was in early disarray, with captain Michael Clarke’s atrocious season in all forms of the game continuing as he fell for just 10.
Marsh, called into yesterday’s team to replace the injured Mike Hussey, strode to the wicket with the home side in deep trouble at 33-4.
The left-hander struck the ball well from the time he arrived at the crease and looked a class above any of his top order teammates in a performance that will have done his chances of replacing Hussey in the World Cup squad no harm at all.
Hussey is in increasing doubt for the tournament after this week undergoing surgery to repair a severe hamstring tear.
Marsh survived a close shave on 23 from the bowling of James Tredwell, when he was given not out by the third umpire on a very close stumping appeal.
He and Cameron White put on 100 for the fifth wicket, but the batting collapsed again when White was caught and bowled for 45 by Michael Yardy, as Australia lost 4-9 to slump to 142-8.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7