Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Australia seize control over England in Ashes series

Padding from the helmet of England's Mark Stoneman falls off Marsh completes family hat-trick of Ashes centuries
Frederick Owens | 17 December, 2017, 04:37

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace provided his assessment after Australia captain Smith, with a career-best 229 not out, and Marsh (181no) ruled day three at the WACA. We've got what we've got. "I don't think we've learned anything from today that we didn't already know", he said in a sobering assessment of the English bowling unit. Our bowlers have been very honest. we've got what we've got, what can we do?

"We feel we have managed to compete as hard as possible ... but it has been an exceptionally tough day". Captain Joe Root even turned to the part-time leg-spin of Dawid Malan late in the day in search of a desperately needed breakthrough, to no avail.

Asked if the Ashes are gone, he said: "Absolutely not".

"[This series] was more special for Shaun because two months ago he didn't really think he was ever going to play for Australia again". We have got to believe ... show some guts and determination ...

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"We thought the cracks might open up a bit more". "Full mental and physical disintegration" would ensue if Australia prolonged their innings beyond reason, taking all prospect of a sporting chance for England out of the reckoning, forcing them, as Gideon Haigh wrote, "into the demoralising state of bowling and fielding in futility". There was a little bit of variable bounce yesterday, but it hasn't been the case today. It was a horrendous day for the visitors, who must win or draw in Perth to keep alive their hopes of retaining the urn, but claimed just one wicket all day at a cost of 346 runs. If you are joining us an England supporter, you're a fearless soul; if you're joining us as an Australian supporter, you must have a smile on your face like a kid about to start a particularly steep toboggan run; if you're joining us as a neutral lover of cricket, then you are probably wishing there was slightly more of a contest, while also no doubt appreciating the artistry and historical nature of the achievements that have taken one side so far ahead. "I didn't really feel too nervous in the 90s, it was nearly a bit of a weird feeling when I got in there".

"It does knock the stuffing out of you a bit ..." I told the boys when I got in (on night two) that I was just getting started.

"When you have had a day like this, it's very easy to have spells where you look like the wheels have come off completely".

Smith is inching closer to the double hundred mark as the hosts now lead 50-plus runs in the ongoing Perth Test. "Dad always had a photo of him and Mark Taylor walking off the ground with the scorecard in his bar, so I grew up looking at that photo".

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