England in the ‘battle of their lives’

Author: ARAB NEWSSun, 2017-12-17 03:00ID: 1513456601187859400LONDON: England have been told they need to “fight and scrap” if they are to have a chance of saving the third Test and stay in the Ashes. Australia started the fourth day earlier this morning on 549 for four after Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh dominated on a torrid day for the tourists. Smith was imperious in reaching 229 not out at stumps with his fifth-wicket batting partner Marsh recording a maiden Test century on his home ground to end the day unbeaten on 181. With the record for highest fifth-wicket stand in an Ashes series at the WACA in sight, the pair made 301 together and need only 27 more runs on day four to surpass Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting’s 1999 effort of 327. The hosts lead by 146 runs leaving England with a tough task to save the match. And England assistant coach Paul Farbrace has told the team they are in the battle of their lives. “Everybody has got to get stuck in, stand up and fight and scrap in the second innings,” he said. “Until the Test match finishes, we have to believe you can get something out of it.“It’s going to be hard, but it is Test cricket. The best teams find a way to compete when their backs are against the wall. Now we need to show we have got character, we have got guts.”It was an awful day in the field for England and their beleaguered bowling attack, which only managed to take one wicket during the day’s play. Joe Root caught Shaun Marsh on 28 from a smart Moeen Ali delivery to have Australia 248 for four in the 75th over. But this was the only high-point for the tourists as Smith and Marsh then took control.“It felt really good yesterday, I was in the zone and I wanted to cash in today,” Smith said before receiving a standing ovation from the home crowd. “We wanted to be out in the middle and just keep batting.”Speaking to ABC, Marsh remarked how much his first Test century means to him and his family. “It’s taken me 22 Tests. I wasn’t really nervous, I felt calm and that kept me going. “You aspire to do that every game you play for Australia. “It means a lot to me to make a 100 in front of my grandparents, they’ve watched every game in the past eight years. “It’s reward for all the hard work. I’m ecstatic,” the 26-year-old said.
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