Marsh brothers ton up as England sink


Lunch Australia 5 for 578 (S Marsh 145*, Paine 14*) lead England 346 by 232 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England’s Test match sank further into a metaphorical swamp as a pair of Marshes raised centuries for Australia on the fourth morning at the SCG. Shaun Marsh brought up his sixth Test hundred in the first over of the day and was still at the crease at lunch; his younger brother Mitchell Marsh celebrated his second Test hundred later in the session, and was out next ball. The net result was that Australia held a 232-run lead at lunch, with Shaun Marsh on 145 and Tim Paine on 14.

Australia had moved their total along to 5 for 578, having added 99 to their overnight score for the loss only of Mitchell Marsh. The brothers combined for a 169-run partnership that continued Australia’s domination of the match, and unless England can run quickly through Australia’s lower order, Steven Smith will face a declaration decision later today, needing to allow his men enough time to bowl England out a second time on what remains a good batting surface.

Shaun Marsh had started the morning on 98, and did not take long to bring up a 212- ball hundred as he drove Moeen Ali through cover from a boundary from the fifth ball of the day. It continued Marsh’s fine return to the Test team this summer and was his second century of the Ashes campaign; by lunch, he was on the verge of overtaking David Warner to become the second leading run scorer of the series behind Smith.

That his brother was at the crease when Shaun raised his hundred made the moment all the more special, and the favour was returned when Mitchell reached triple figures later in the session. His century came from his 140th delivery with a two through point, although the brothers almost ruined the moment by embracing mid-pitch while completing the second run, and had to remember to make their ground so as not to be run out.

It was also Mitchell Marsh’s second hundred of the series, and of his career. However, he was dismissed next ball when Tom Curran managed to jag one back significantly from outside off stump to bowl Marsh for 101.

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