KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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England’s Ashes hangover continued as Shaun Marsh’s century inspired Australia to a 46-run victory in the second One Day International in Hobart.
Marsh rescued the hosts from 142-8 with a magnificent innings of 110 which made a mockery of his not being included in the squad for the ICC World Cup.
The tourists never looked like challenging Australia’s total of 230 in a worryingly lukewarm performance from Andrew Strauss’ men.
After twice failing to capitalise on strong positions with the ball the batsmen struggled too with the highest score of the innings just 32 - by Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott.
Australia's evening was somewhat soured by injuries to World Cup-bound bowlers Shaun Tait and Nathan Hauritz. Spin bowler Hauritz badly injured his shoulder on his return to the side.
Marsh reminds the selectors
Marsh, called into the squad to replace the injured Mike Hussey, had come to the crease with the Aussie top order in disarray at 33-4.
Ajmal Shahzad (3-43) had removed the opening pair of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin. Then Andrew Strauss held a magnificent catch at slip to remove David Hussey off Chris Tremlett to leave Australia struggling.
Marsh then combined with Cameron White (45), putting together a patient partnership of 100 before England once again sparked a mini-collapse.
Mike Yardy had White caught and bowled and Steve Smith, Brett Lee and Hauritz all departed for the addition of just six runs.
Marsh received a life on 61, when Ajmal Shahzad spilled a hard return catch, but accelerated to reach a brilliant century from just 101 balls.
The Western Australian found another, less likely partner in Doug Bollinger who batted with aplomb to make a run-a-ball 30 - comfortably beating his previous highest ODI score of three.
England fall short
In England's reply, Matt Prior made an inauspicious return to the ODI side as he edged a good delivery from Lee to Watson at slip - out for a third ball duck.
England’s top order soon found themselves in a similar state of chaos as Australia’s when Bollinger continued his superb afternoon with two wickets in two balls.
Captain Strauss was LBW for 19 before Kevin Pietersen departed for a golden duck, clean bowled by a rampant Bollinger to make it 36-3.
Trott and Bell rebuilt slowly but when Trott fell, caught by Hussey off Smith, England’s chase was sliding behind the required run rate.
Bell began to find his fluency with Eoin Morgan for company but England’s chances were dealt a serious blow when he cut a Lee delivery straight to backward point.
Morgan built a steady partnership with Yardy, but when they called for the batting powerplay in the 35th over he holed out to long-on, where Tait took a stunning, running catch as it dropped over his shoulder.
Tim Bresnan, batting with a runner after picking up a calf injury, was at fault for Yardy being run-out for 22 and tried to make amends with some aggressive batting.
He slogged his way to 19 from 26 balls but when Shane Watson clung onto a low catch at third man to remove him off Bollinger, the match was effectively over.
Bollinger finished with 4-28 from nine overs to cap a fantastic all-round performance.
Andy Flower will be desperately disappointed by the manner of England's third consecutive defeat.
The top order will take much of the blame for a poor display, characterised by batsmen failing to make the most of good starts.
Strauss may also take some criticism for his apparently defensive tactics which allowed Australia to pick themselves up off the canvas - twice.