Ashes 2017, Third Test Day 3 : Smith double ton drives Australia forward

Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh registered 301 runs for fifth wicket partnership.

Australia is currently the Ashes 2-0. (Getty)

Before the start of third day's play, Steve Smith's masterclass had meant that the third Test is on an even keel after the hosts finished day 2 at 203 for three, trailing by exactly 200 runs. This was after their bowlers snaffled 6 for 35 as England collapsed from 368 for 4 to 403 all-out. Centuries from Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow and their 237-run 5th wicket stand had seemingly put the visitors in control, only for the Australian bowlers to blow away the later order within no time.

The third day at Perth resumed with Captain Smith and Shaun Marsh on the strike continuing their struggle to beat England's massive lead of 403 runs they had scored thanks to Malan and Bairstow fifth wicket partnership. James Anderson started the proceedings for his team with only one slip for Steven Smith, trying to clinch early wickets but James Anderson was unsuccessful.

Steven Smith quickly with Shaun Marsh avoided the follow-on, gradually the scoreboard started ticking with both the players scoring runs easily now. Meanwhile, the Captain scored his 22nd test century leading his country from the front. He only took 51 innings to score 14 test centuries as a Captain.

Shaun Marsh went back to pavilion after getting out on Moeen Ali's delivery. Ali sent Marsh with drifting in the angle and just about held its line, Marsh didn't get fully forward as he pushed at that, the edge was found and Root holds onto a simple catch at slip. The 69 run stand was held broken by delighted off-spinner.

Mitchell Marsh the all-rounder who replaced Peter Handscomb came to join the skipper in the middle to score some runs under his willow. The younger Marsh also started to help his partner from the other end, rotation of the strike got smooth and runs started to flee easily.

After the first session, Australia slowly started to take control. They added 111 runs in 27 overs - scoring at more than four runs per over, Steve Smith got to his 22nd Test hundred, Mitchell Marsh started slowly, but opened up against the second new ball. They were only behind by just 89 runs and England starting officially to get worried.

The start of the session was seen by Woakes taking the attack against Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh, who were comfortable rotating the strike with putting the loose deliveries over boundaries. Steven Smith crossed 150 while Mitchell Marsh accelerated his innings, he also reached his half-century.

The bowlers were enough frustrated with the pair batting and scoring runs on the board. Mitchell replacement was been successful over Peterscomb because he was not able to make huge scores.

Mitchell Marsh was super fast in scoring runs, he converted his half-century into his maiden test century in no time. It must really be a proud moment for him and his family scoring century on his home ground. His parents were delighted by joy after watching their kid playing so well. His maiden century and Smith genius helped Australia to remove the lead given by the visitors.

Smith notched up his second double hundred in Test cricket. (Getty)

The English attack, which is so potent on paper, looked deflated. They had conceded 107 runs this session in 26 overs, at a run rate of more than 4. Smith has absolutely bossed them in this session and they still haven't found a way of getting him out. A routine hundred from Smith. But the man of the moment was Mitchell Marsh. Absolutely stunning innings from him in front of his home crowd, and he has definitely grabbed his opportunity with both hands by essaying this fluent century on his comeback match. 

The last session of the day started with Moeen Ali with a slip in a hope to remove the partnership but only in his dreams, the partnership between them had moved onto 176 with many more records and runs to be hammered. Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss were the last people to pray to Jesus for the removal of those two.

Mitchell Marsh and Captain Genius were in no mood to stop scoring runs and deliberately England bowlers were in need of a wicket but that did not happen, the duo reached 200 run stand.

Earlier it was Malan-Bairstow show and now Smith- Mitchell had been enjoying each others company. This innings from Mitchell Marsh must have been a dream come true for him because performing in front your family is exceptional. The Captain reached his 200 becoming the 4th player to score multiple Ashes 200s. 

At the end of third day's play, Australia is standing strong like a pillar on 548 for 4 down with Steven Smith not out on 229 and Mitchell Marsh 181. Both the players have scored their career-best score in test cricket with a record-breaking partnership of 301 runs Australia will try to dominate the visitors on Day 4 as well.

Australia is currently leading by 146 runs in the second innings and is in a great position to declare once the Captain reaches 300 milestones. On behalf of England bowlers, they had a rough day in the field with spinner grabbing only one wicket in the whole day.

The match is very much in Australia's favor with this Solid and nonbreakable run stand they can seal the Ashes 2017 easily over the win in Perth Stadium.

Brief Scores

Australia 4 for 549 (Smith 229*, M Marsh 181*) lead England 403 by 146 runs


By Kunal Kataria - 16 Dec, 2017

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