Internet Desk: Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh ran England ragged on the third day of the third Test at Perth’s WACA ground on Saturday (December 16), leaving Joe Root’s side in a shambles.
After two days of the match progressing on an even keel, Australia took control to reach 549 for 4 in its first innings by stumps after England had scored 403. At close, Smith was on 229 and Mitchell Marsh 181 and England had fallen 146 behind after a day on which it conceded 346 runs for just one wicket.
Smith scored his second Test double-century and went on to get his highest Test score, while also passing 1000 runs in the calendar year in Tests. Mitchell Marsh, meanwhile, got to his maiden Test century on his home ground.
Smith and Mitchell Marsh got together after Shaun Marsh had fallen early in the first session to Moeen Ali for 28, and dominated the England attack to put on an unbroken stand of 301 for the fifth wicket without offering a single chance.
Resuming on 92, Smith reached his 22nd Test century off the 138th ball he had faced, his quickest in terms of balls faced. He then reached his double-century from 301 balls, hitting 26 fours and one six.
Mitchell Marsh came to the crease under pressure to perform having dropped a simple catch and bowled poorly during the England innings. He started nervously but settled down and got to his century from the penultimate over before tea.
He had faced 130 balls for his century and a number of powerful drives were a feature of his landmark Test innings, which has lasted 234 balls so far and included 29 hits to the fence.
Australia lead the series 2-0 and can regain the Ashes with victory in Perth.