A ton from WA batsman Shaun Marsh and a bizarre lbw overruling that left NSW incensed have dominated day three of the Sheffield Shield clash in Canberra.
It’s every batsman’s dream after being fired lbw.
At a tense stage of the Sheffield Shield clash between NSW and Western Australia in Canberra on Thursday, the Warriors’ recently dropped Test batsman Shaun Marsh was shown the finger by umpire Paul Wilson.
As Blues spinner Nathan Lyon celebrated, Marsh remonstrated, showing the inside edge of his bat to Wilson and prompting the respected former fast bowler to cross his arms and reverse the decision.
No Hawkeye, no snicko, no Hot Spot.
Just a good ol’ fashioned case of mea culpa.
Marsh had just reached a gritty 100 at the time, and he went on to score 113 to help set NSW a tricky victory target of 213 in a high-stakes match in which the winner will host next week’s final.
The game hangs in the balance, although NSW are in the driver’s seat having gone to stumps at 2-103, requiring a further 110 on the final day for victory.
The ruling had an already frustrated Lyon (1-91) visibly seething, and the Test offspinner threw a barrage of verbal hand grenades at his Australian teammate from the other end.
“It was something a bit different out there,” said Marsh.
“But credit to Paul Wilson who had the guts to call me back.
“Obviously he knew he made a mistake straight away.”
NSW coach Trevor Bayliss was a little more perplexed but was grateful it only cost his side about 13 runs.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen it,” he said.
“Whether it was out or not out it probably sets a dangerous precedent.
“Whether they’ve turned it over because they thought it was out, or whether he saw Shaun show the bat – it’s a difficult one.
“From our point of view hopefully it doesn’t make much of a difference.”
Blues skipper and Aussie Test hero Steve Smith is cruising at 32 not out, and he’ll want to stick around as long as possible as batting collapses have occurred in every innings of the low-scoring match so far.
After three straight ducks, Marsh played one of the gutsiest innings of his career to drag WA back into the contest, bringing up his ton with a big six over long on to help the visitors to a second-innings total of 316.
To give an idea of just how skilful a knock it was from Marsh, nobody else in the match has reached 50.
The 30-year-old was recently axed from the Australian team for the third Test against South Africa, and he ranked Thursday’s performance right up there as one of his best Shield centuries.
WA’s position is a huge turnaround from day one where they suffered a massive batting collapse to be bowled out for 82.
And while the odds may still be stacked against them, both sides have stated that a fourth-day wicket could provide a tricky little run chase.
“It hasn’t been a real high-scoring game, it’s a wicket that’s difficult to start on,” said Bayliss.