Marsh lifts Ashes selection hopes with timely ton

Ross McLean
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Shaun Marsh retired after reaching century
CENTURION Shaun Marsh sailed through his audition to replace Chris Rogers at the top of Australia’s batting line-up amid lingering fears that the veteran opener could miss next week’s third Investec Ashes Test.

Rogers is a doubt for the Edgbaston clash after struggling to recover from dizziness suffered while batting in Australia’s second innings at Lord’s on Sunday, and is set for further assessments today.

Marsh yesterday struck his second hundred of Australia’s tour before retiring unbeaten on 101 as the tourists finished day one of their warm-up clash with county side Derbyshire on 413-9.

Fellow opener David Warner also reached three figures, while there were half-centuries for all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Shane Watson – the former replaced the latter in Australia’s team for the second Test at Lord’s, which the tourists won by 405 runs.

The England and Wales Cricket Board, meanwhile, have not demanded that a livelier pitch be produced for the third Test, according to Edgbaston groundsman Gary Barwell. The pitches on show in the opening two Tests at Cardiff and Lord’s were roundly criticised for being too slow, although both matches were concluded inside four days.

“I’ve had no directive from the ECB on what kind of pitch to prepare,” said Barwell. “I’m trying to produce a good-quality Test pitch with plenty for the bowlers and the batsmen, good carry and good bounce.”

England failed to exert their authority in the Women’s Ashes at Bristol yesterday as Meg Lanning scored a pivotal hundred to help Australia win the second one-day international by 63 runs and level the series.

Lanning top-scored with 104 as Australia posted 259-6 from their 50 overs, while England could only muster 196, despite an opening partnership of 92 between skipper Charlotte Edwards, who made 58, and Heather Knight.

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