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The Ashes Round-up: Smith and Marsh torment England

16 December 2017 11:19

Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh put England's bowlers to the sword on day three of the third Ashes Test in Perth on Saturday.

The pair shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 301 to move Australia into a commanding lead at the WACA as England's hopes of retaining the urn faded away.

 

THE HEADLINES

- Smith makes a second Test double hundred, reaching stumps 229 not out for his highest score in the longest form.

- Marsh (181no) brings up his maiden Test century, joining brother Shaun and father Geoff in reaching three figures for his country.

- Australia close 549-4, 146 ahead of England and with one hand on the urn.

 

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Take your pick, Australia. Marsh's first century - on his home ground, no less - was met with a WACA roar matched only by that which greeted Smith reaching 200.

 

OPTA FACTS

- This is the first time Australia have scored centuries at number six in consecutive innings since Damien Martyn's 117 vs South Africa at Sydney 2001-02 and his 133 vs the Proteas at Johannesburg 2002.

- Smith is the fourth player in Ashes history to make multiple scores of 200+ (Bradman eight, Hammond four, Simpson also two).

- This is Smith's seventh ton against England, tied 12th-most overall and the most of any current Test batsman (Amla six).

 

REACTION

"My family aren't allowed to go to the toilet while I'm batting so there's probably a few full bladders up there!" - the Marsh family superstition was evidently working for Mitchell on Saturday.

"We've done as much as we can today and given our all and that's all you can do." - Assistant coach Paul Farbrace puts a brave face on it for England.

 

HOW MANY WILL SMITH WANT?

Marsh suggested afterwards that Smith would like a lead in the region of 250-300, with the Australia captain perhaps eyeing a maiden triple century.

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