Shaun Marsh and his younger brother Mitchell Marsh forged a crucial 104-run stand for the fifth-wicket following Usman Khawaja smashing hard-fought maiden Ashes Test hundred – to see hosts Australia leading by 133 runs at the stumps of day three of the fifth and final ongoing Magellan Ashes Test series in Sydney on Saturday.
The great bound shared by brothers further saw Shaun and Mitchell shook hands before walking off to a huge roar from the Sydney crowd while donning the whites.
When the bails were removed from the groove, Australia’s first innings total was 479 for four in 157 overs as Shaun remained unbeaten on 98 off 207 deliveries.
The left-handed batsman Shaun, who played a pivotal role to score, runs while banking on his strength as he went on to find the fence for ten times.
On the other end, Mitchell has registered nine boundaries and two sixes in his enterprising knock of 87-ball 63, as the England bowlers toiled hard for the wickets throughout the day.
Pertinently, Australia added 286 on the second day which saw Steven Smith was caught and bowled by off-spinner Moeen Ali after scoring 83 off 158 balls.
In the morning session, from the overnight score of 193, Australia added 81 runs in the morning when Smith trudged off the ground at Kangaroos score of 274.
The highlight of the day was left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja, who played a significant role and went on to post 171 off 381 deliveries – to batter England bowlers and simultaneously put Australia in the strong position. He registered 18 boundaries and a solitary six.
England bowlers didn’t pick a wicket in the lunch session following Khawaja’s splendid Ashes Test hundred while waiting for the bad balls to be counted on the placid of the surfaces at SCG.
However, it was the 20-year-old debutant leg-spinner Mason Crane, who bowled Khawaja when fourth over after tea was in progress, but the latter had already done the damage and further allowed Australia to have a go at the visiting England subsequently.
Earlier, Crane overstepped which forced him to wait for his maiden Test scalp.
Only spinners were managed to pick both the wickets for the day which further saw out of six bowlers; four were among the wickets column.
Concluding, as Australia would be eyeing to wrap-up the traditional five-match series 4-0, they might further ask their batters – to score runs quickly as much as possible and eventually have a go at the English batting line-up which would be certainly under pressure with the amount of first innings lead.
Here’s what you could pick up interesting for the ongoing traditional series: Australia vs England