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Marsh leads WA reply



Shaun Marsh’s third Sheffield Shield century of the 2020/21 summer has helped Western Australia to a solid position at stumps on day two of their Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide.


Marsh’s 19th first class hundred for Western Australia has his side at 4-198 at the close, the skipper unbeaten on 104 and Nightwatchman Matt Kelly yet to score.


Earlier Victoria declared at 4-414 with Will Pucovski reaching his second double century in as many innings, posting 202 to put his side in the ascendency at the halfway point of the match.


Pucovski reached his double century inside the opening hour of the day having resumed on 183, Peter Handscomb taking his overnight score from 49 to 84 before trapped in front by the left arm leg spin of D’Arcy Short.


Pucovski had already joined him the pavilion after a sparkling knock, the 22 year old hitting 27 fours in his 202 from 347 balls before chipping a catch to substitute Ashton Turner at short midwicket from the bowling of Matt Kelly.


Kelly finished the pick of the bowlers as he claimed 3-84 from 28 overs, claiming Matt Short (6) moments before the declaration arrived with Victoria at 4-414, Nic Maddinson unbeaten on 27 and Sam Harper on 3 when Peter Handscomb called his side in.


The move to declare earlier than anticipated paid dividends with both WA openers Sam Whiteman (14) and Cameron Bancroft (5) falling to Scott Boland and Mitchell Perry respectively before the lunch break.


That brought in form pair Marsh and Cameron Green together, the pair recovering the innings with a steadying stand of 141, batting through the second session unscathed.


Marsh reached his half century with a square drive behind point for four, while Green reached his milestone in even more emphatic fashion as he crunched Perry over square leg for a towering six on the pull shot.


On a flat pitch it was the left arm spin of Jon Holland that made the breakthrough, Green edging a well flighted delivery to Handscomb at slip to depart for 56.


Marsh was once again at his absolute best, striking former team mate Simon Mackin for two off-side boundaries in quick succession to reach his 31st first class century, the 19th for his home state and third of the summer.


Holland extracted steep bounce from a full length to find the glove of Hilton Cartwright’s bat, popping up to a gleeful Handscomb at slip inside the final half hour of the day’s proceedings.


Nightwatchman Kelly got through to the close with Marsh for company, setting up an intriguing day three with Victoria still leading by 216 runs.


Holland looms as the key for the Vics having claimed 2-26 from 18 overs with 7 maidens, Perry and Boland the other successful bowlers with the new ball.


In other matches a century for Jordan Silk gave Tasmania a 155 run first innings lead over New South Wales at Gladys Elphick Park, before a Nick Larkin ton and 75 from Moises Henriques as part of an unbroken stand of 172 gave the Blues a way back in to the match, leading by 50 runs heading in to day three.


Mitch Swepson's third five wicket haul in as many innings for Queensland has his side in total control against South Australia, the Redbacks likely to follow on reaching stumps on day two at 9-154, still trailing by 342 runs after centuries for Matt Renshaw and Jimmy Pierson complemented Usman Khawaja's 131 on the opening day.


Play will resume at 8:30 AM tomorrow morning, with coverage from 9AM on 91.3 Sport FM following Sports Breakfast with Jacob Landsmeer and Wayne Clark.


IMAGE: The West Australian.