A player who have not been included to the world cup squad played such an innings which can be remember for long long time. He pulled up Australia from no where else. Australia were 40 for 4 wickets in 15 overs. The scenery looked like Australia is following their bad performance of Ashes series. But Shaun Marsh was the man who stood up and kept the momentum. Shaun Marsh wasn’t deemed good enough to be in Australia’s World Cup squad, but in his first outing as Mike Hussey’s injury replacement he cracked a brilliant hundred to lift his team from a hopeless position to 46-run victory at Hobart. Marsh’s 110 rescued the hosts from two collapses, then England put together a poor run chase as Doug Bollinger completed a fine all-round match with four wickets.
Australia’s top order slumped to 4 for 33 and, following a 100-run stand between Marsh and Cameron White, they slipped to 8 for 142, before Marsh turned the game on its head. But his matchwinning effort wouldn’t have been possible without Bollinger, who showed previously unknown batting prowess to hit 30 in an Australia record ninth-wicket stand of 88.
Marsh was given a life on 61 when Ajmal Shahzad dropped a return chance and went from 84 to 101 in the space of one Michael Yardy over, the 45th of the innings, with two boundaries through midwicket followed by a six in the same direction to bring up his hundred from 101 balls. The run chase should still have been within England’s grasp but they never formed a solid foundation.
Bollinger was key to that when he extracted Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen with consecutive balls. Strauss was struck on the back leg and was happy to take the umpire’s lbw verdict, only to be talked into a wasted review by Jonathan Trott. Pietersen then got an inside into the stumps, although Bollinger missed a hat-trick when Ian Bell pulled wide of short fine-leg.
Bollinger later returned to snuff out any last-ditch charge from the lower order when he had Tim Bresnan, batting with a runner due to a calf strain, caught at third man and trapped James Tredwell lbw in a performance that has confirmed his World Cup credentials.
However, Australia’s victory came at a cost. Nathan Hauritz suffered what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder when he dived in the outfield, and it was shocking luck for a player making his first appearance since the start of the Ashes. He left the field and went straight to hospital in serious pain. A short while later, Shaun Tait limped out of the attack five balls into his sixth over having pulled a muscle in his left thigh.
England’s innings had made a poor start when Matt Prior marked his recall in opposite style to Marsh with a third-ball duck when he edged Brett Lee to first slip. There was no shortage of pace from the Australia attack and Trott had no clue about the bouncer from Tait which he gloved over the slips.
However, Trott and Bell began to settle the run chase only for it all to come unravelling as the evening closed in on Hobart’s first floodlit one-day international. After the fire and brimstone from the quicks, the sight of Steve Smith would have been a signal to increase the tempo but instead Trott pulled his second ball straight to midwicket.
With Michael Clarke sensing a crucial moment he recalled Lee, who snaffled Bell with a wide delivery that was cut to point. It continued the trend in the early stages of this series of England handing Australia wickets on a plate. Yardy and Eoin Morgan suggested a fightback and their pair opted for the Powerplay in the 34th over only for Morgan to be superbly caught by Tait running towards the boundary and Yardy run out.
England will ask themselves some serious questions about how they twice let Australia off the hook. The pick of the attack was Chris Tremlett, another World Cup discard, who claimed 3 for 22 and Ajmal Shahzad also claimed three but the problem came in a lack of incisive support for the three main quick bowlers with the absence of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
This was the same England pace attack that played against Australia A here in November when they were classed as the reserve unit to the Test trio, but with Anderson and Broad still away from the squad they are currently the main men. Shahzad found early swing and took Watson’s inside edge into the stumps with Brad Haddin following in similar fashion as he tried to drive.
That left the out-of-form Clarke under pressure to steady the innings. It was a situation made for Test-style batting and Clarke battled against the moving ball without ever threatening fluency except for one flick over midwicket off Shahzad. However, the manner of his dismissal won’t have done him any favours when he slapped a wide ball straight cover to leave Australia 3 for 21.
David Hussey was then well caught in the gully when he fended at Tremlett. Without his brother to guide a rescue mission Australia needed someone else to bail them out of trouble. The innings was first revived by White, who was struck a painful blow on the glove by Tremlett early on, and Marsh as they negotiated the tough period before cashing in against the reduced threat of England’s spinners. Marsh did an excellent impression of the man he has replaced, Mike Hussey, as he latched onto anything loose and showed good footwork.
White is more of a stand-and-deliver batsman and they formed a productive pair which also benefited from the left-right-hand combination that made life tougher for the bowlers. The momentum was just switching to Australia with White using his feet to elegantly drive Yardy through the covers, but next ball pushed back a return catch on 45.
That began Australia’s second slide of the innings and when Lee missed a straight ball from Yardy the end was coming quickly, but confidence is slowly returning to this team and they hauled themselves off the floor in emphatic style.