Marsh toasts Bollinger
Shaun Marsh deflected praise for his century towards Doug Bollinger as Australia celebrated victory over England in Hobart.
Marsh took the match award for a splendid 110 off 114 balls, the most prominent score in a total of 230 all out at the Bellerive Oval.
If his 100-run stand with Cameron White was central to Australia recovering from 33 for four, the 88 he added with Bollinger for the ninth wicket was equally important given that the scoreboard read 142 for eight when they came together.
Bollinger’s contribution was worth 30 off as many balls. He then claimed 4-28 to hasten England’s slide to 184 all out under the floodlights and give Australia 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.
“It was a great effort by Dougie today,” said Marsh, choosing to overlook the plaudits for his ultimately crucial innings.
“At eight for 140 we were probably out of the game, but to come out and put on 88 was fantastic. I had great confidence in Doug. He was okay on his own; he did a fantastic job today.
“It gave us a chance and we came out and bowled really well. Dougie led the way and it was a great win.”
Bollinger’s previous highest score in 27 previous one-day internationals was three not out, although those statistics are skewed by the fact he has batted only four times.
Yet he claimed to take more pleasure from his performance with the ball, and in particular the dismissals of Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen with successive balls to reduce England to 36 for three.
“(The most enjoyable part) was definitely the bowling,” he said. “Being an all-rounder is too much work - you’ve got to be fit.
“The wind was swirling a bit and I wasn’t trying to fight it. I just ran in and tried to bash the wicket.
“Definitely KP first ball was the big wicket. He’s such a good player, a confident player.”
His aims with the bat were equally straightforward: “To just get off strike and get to the other end - help Shaun out. It doesn’t happen like that for me very often so I’ll take it.”
For Marsh, who owes his place in the Australia side to Mike Hussey’s hamstring injury, this represented a belated reminder to the selectors of his worth after he was omitted from the final World Cup squad this week.
“It’s nice to get a chance,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that Huss has gone down but it has given me an opportunity and it’s nice to take it today.
“You can’t really help selection. I was disappointed at the time but I’ve got a job to do in this series and that’s all I’m focusing on.”
Australia stand-in captain Michael Clarke was fulsome in his praise for Marsh, before revealing the left-hander is likely to bat further up the order in Sunday’s third game in Sydney.
“If he bats like that he can stay as long as he likes,” Clarke said. “It’s unlikely he’ll be batting at number six in the next few games, especially when he’s hitting the ball as sweet as he is.
“We were in a lot of trouble - wickets kept falling around him - but Shaun showed his class and what an opportunity does.
“He’s come into this game in good form, scoring runs for WA (Western Australia) and it’s as good an innings as I’ve seen, under pressure and losing wickets around him.
“He really stood up today. It wins us the game tonight.”