Shaun Marsh put his hand up for a late World Cup call-up with a solo effort to salvage a disappointing Australian batting effort in the second one-day international at the Bellerive Oval on Friday.
Marsh, left out of Australia’s World Cup squad named on Tuesday, posted his second one-day international century as Australia made 230 from 48.2 overs after being sent in to bat by England.
The left-hander brought up his century in the best fashion possible, lofting Michael Yardy over mid-wicket for six from the 101st delivery he faced, having hit the previous two balls for four.
Marsh was the last man to fall, caught on the boundary having faced 114 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes.
The home side were in deep trouble at 142-8, before Marsh and number 10 Doug Bollinger rallied the cause by adding an unlikely 88, a record ninth-wicket stand for Australia in ODIs.
Not for the first time this southern hemisphere summer, Australia’s top order was in early disarray, with captain Michael Clarke’s atrocious season in all forms of the game continuing as he fell for just 10.
Marsh, called into Friday’s team to replace the injured Mike Hussey, strode to the wicket with the home side in deep trouble at 33-4.
The left-hander struck the ball well from the time he arrived at the crease and looked a class above any of his top order teammates in a performance that will have done his chances of replacing Hussey in the World Cup squad no harm at all.
Hussey is in increasing doubt for the tournament after this week undergoing surgery to repair a severe hamstring tear.
Marsh survived a close shave on 23 from the bowling of James Tredwell, when he was given not out by the third umpire on a very close stumping appeal.
He made the most of his good fortune and teamed with Cameron White, who was struck a painful blow on the index finger of his right hand by a rising delivery from Chris Tremlett, to try to rescue the innings.
The pair put on 100, but the batting collapsed again when White was caught and bowled for 45 by Michael Yardy, as Australia lost 4-9 to slump to 142-8.
Promising paceman Ajmal Shahzad celebrated his inclusion in England’s World Cup squad by claiming 3-43, including the prized wickets of openers Shane Watson (5), who made 161 not out in Sunday’s first game which Australia won by six wickets, and Brad Haddin (5).