Hobart, Jan 21 (AFP) Shaun Marsh batted himself intocontention for next month''s World Cup with a match-winningsolo effort in Australia''s 46-run win over England today atthe Bellerive Oval.
Marsh, left out of Australia''s World Cup squad named onTuesday and the only player not in that squad playing today,posted his second one-day international century as Australiamade 230 from 48.2 overs after being sent in to bat byEngland.
In reply, England never recovered from an earlydouble-strike by paceman Doug Bollinger (4-28), who alsocontributed valuable tail-end runs with the bat. They weredismissed for just 184 in 45 overs as Australia took a 2-0lead in the seven-match series.But the win came at considerable cost for Australia, withspinner Nathan Hauritz, in his first international of theseason, appearing to dislocate his right shoulder in the fieldand place his World Cup hopes in jeopardy.
All summer, Australia''s best performances have relied onjust one or two brilliant individual efforts.
In game one of the series, it was Shane Watson''s 161 notout, and this time it was the recalled Marsh.
Batting at number six, the left-handed Marsh brought uphis century in the best fashion possible, lofting MichaelYardy over mid-wicket for six from the 101st delivery hefaced, having hit the previous two balls for four.
Marsh was the last man to fall, caught on the boundaryhaving faced 114 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes.
The home side were in deep trouble at 142-8, before Marshand number 10 Bollinger rallied to the cause by adding anunlikely 88, a record ninth-wicket stand for Australia inODIs. MORE (AFP) CM
Not for the first time in this southern hemisphere summer, Australia''s top order was in early disarray, withcaptain Michael Clarke''s atrocious season in all forms of thegame continuing as he fell for just 10.
Marsh, called into today''s team to replace the injuredMike Hussey, strode to the wicket with the home side in deeptrouble at 33-4.
The left-hander struck the ball well from the time hearrived at the crease and looked a class above any of his toporder teammates in a performance that will have done hischances of replacing Hussey in the World Cup squad no harm atall.
Hussey is in increasing doubt for the tournament afterthis week undergoing surgery to repair a severe hamstringtear.Marsh survived a close shave on 23 from the bowling ofJames Tredwell, when he was given not out by the third umpireon a very close stumping appeal.
He and Cameron White put on 100 for the fifth wicket, butthe batting collapsed again when White was caught and bowledfor 45 by Michael Yardy, as Australia lost 4-9 to slump to142-8.
Promising paceman Ajmal Shahzad celebrated his inclusionin England''s World Cup squad by claiming 3-43, including theprized wickets of openers Shane Watson (5) and Brad Haddin(5).
England got off to a solid start, but Bollinger removedAndrew Strauss (lbw) for 19 and with his next delivery bowledKevin Pietersen for a golden duck.
The tourists were 36-3 and never really recovered. (AFP)CM