Thursday 14 December 2017 / 01:52 AM

ASHES WRAP: MARSH STARS AS AUSSIES DOMINATE ADELAIDE WEEKENDER

Australia finished Day 2 of the historic day-night Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval in a commanding position, with England left at 1/29 at stumps in reply to the hosts’ 8/442 declared.

After England skipper Joe Root’s mystifying decision to bowl after winning the toss, the Aussies reached 4/209 on a rain-interrupted first day on the back of solid contributions from David Warner (47), Usman Khawaja (53) and Steve Smith (40).

With tempers at boiling point and England’s sledging game reaching all-time levels, Australia took the Test by the scruff of the neck on Sunday.

Stuart Broad gave Peter Handscomb (36) a vitriolic send-off after dismissing him lbw without a run being added to the overnight score, but that set the scene for controversially recalled pair Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine to put on a crucial 83-run partnership.

Paine made 57 before falling to Craig Overton, but Marsh went on with the job to notch his fifth Test century.

As he did in the first innings in Brisbane, No.9 Pat Cummins frustrated the England attack with a gritty 44. Smith declared Australia’s innings when Cummins became Overton’s third scalp, leaving the critic-crushing Marsh not out on 126.

A comical dropped catch when Alastair Cook and James Vince collided to let Marsh off the hook summed up England’s woeful day in the field.

The hapless pair finished the day at the crease together – Cook not out on 11, Vince yet to score – after Starc trapped opener Mark Stoneman (6) leg-before in the seventh over.

Play was abandoned for the night two overs later, leaving England with yet another Ashes mountain to climb over the next three days.

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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