Fifth Ashes Test Australia close on victory in

Published : 9:02 am  January 8, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Australia were closing on an innings victory with England fighting a desperate rearguard on 93 for four at stumps on the fourth day of the Fifth Ashes Test yesterday, still 210 runs from forcing their hosts to bat again.

Brothers Shaun and Mitchell Marsh had earlier both scored centuries on a scorching morning at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) to put Australia in a position where they could declare on 649 for seven in the second session.

England, already 0-3 down in the series with the urn relinquished, had toiled in the field in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius with little success and their luck did not change when they came out to bat. Openers Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman went cheaply inside the first six overs of their second innings with James Vince (18) and Dawid Malan (five) following in the final session.

Skipper Joe Root, who made an unbeaten 42 despite playing with an injured finger, and Jonny Bairstow (17 not out) will take England’s fight to save the test into the final day.

The Marsh brothers had earlier joined the Chappell siblings Ian and Greg (1972) and the Waugh twins Mark and Steve (2001) in scoring centuries in the same innings in an Ashes Test.

Shaun Marsh made 156 from 291 balls before being run out by a Stoneman direct hit just after lunch, with Mitchell having departed for 101 on the delivery after securing his second century when Tom Curran took out his off stump.

The brothers both scored their second centuries of the series in a brilliant 169-run partnership that built on the mammoth 171 Usman Khawaja scored on Saturday.
It was a particularly sweet partnership given Shaun was a controversial selection for the series, his eighth recall to the test line-up being met with disbelief in some quarters, and Mitchell was only brought in for the third test in Perth. Mitchell was the second to reach the milestone about an hour into the morning with two runs past point and Shaun was in such a hurry to congratulate his little brother that he almost ran him out. “Emotions got the better of me and I wanted to give him a hug,” 34-year-old Shaun told reporters.

“To be out there with Mitch, to both score our Test centuries today for Australia, being out there and sharing each others’ emotions when we got to our hundreds, was an extremely happy moment. It will certainly be a day that we won’t forget.” 

Shaun had started the day on 98 with Australia 479 for four and took just five balls to secure his sixth test century by crunching Moeen Ali through the covers for one of the 18 fours he scored in his 403-minute knock.

While Australia flourished with the bat, England continued to struggle. -Reuters