Ashes Report Card: Marsh, Lyon rock on; forgettable Test for Vince

Bottom marks are delivered for the first time in the Ashes series after England went 2-0 down in Adelaide to lose grip of the urn.

Shaun Marsh won the Player of the Match award after scoring an unbeaten century   -  Getty Images

Australia has fingertips on the Ashes urn after beating England by 120 runs in Adelaide.

As in Brisbane, a solitary home hundred was enough to tilt the balance in Australia's favour, Shaun Marsh's unbeaten 126 doing the trick, and the batsman is a natural pick to top the player ratings dished out by Dejan Kalinic for the host and Matthew Scott for England.


Cameron Bancroft - 3

A calamitous run out in the first innings proved costly as the opener finished with scores of 10 and four, unable to back up a decent debut.

David Warner - 5

Warner made a solid 47 in the first innings after Australia had been sent in to bat, while his 14 in the second was more than many of his team-mates managed.

Usman Khawaja - 6

Khawaja produced a much-needed half-century in the first innings and, fortunately for the left-hander, avoided getting out to spin. His 20 as Australia was under pressure in the second innings was his team's equal highest score.

Steve Smith - 4

This was a mostly forgettable game for Smith. The Australia captain made scores of 40 and six, but his decision not to enforce the follow on almost cost his team victory. Smith also wasted numerous reviews and failed to go upstairs for a plumb lbw against Alastair Cook that was not given in the second innings. 

Peter Handscomb - 4

Handscomb's spot is likely to come under increased scrutiny after making 36 and 12, the latter innings looking particularly uncomfortable. He may be searching for form and, as Matt Renshaw found out, the Ashes are not the place for that.

Shaun Marsh - 8

Marsh, a much-talked about selection for Australia, delivered once again. The left-hander scored a brilliant unbeaten 126 in the first innings to put his side in a winning position, earning player of the match honours.

Tim Paine - 7

Paine stepped up with a first-innings half-century for Australia, and he did his job behind the stumps well once more.

Mitchell Starc - 7.5

Starc finally found some of his best form, although he was patchy. The left-armer ended up taking eight wickets for the match, helping clean up the England tail on the final day.

Pat Cummins - 7.5

Cummins is yet to truly get the reward he deserves this series. There were two more handy contributions with the bat (44 and 11 not out) and he took three wickets, his one in the second innings coming to break a 78-run partnership between Dawid Malan and Joe Root late on day four.

Josh Hazlewood - 6

Like Starc, Hazlewood is yet to get to his best this series, but he delivered when needed on the final day. The paceman got rid of Chris Woakes and Root, the latter the huge breakthrough his team needed.

Nathan Lyon has taken 28 wickets of left-handed batsmen in Tests in 2017 at an average of 12.5.   -  AP


Nathan Lyon - 8

Lyon has been irresistible to begin the series. The off-spinner ended up taking six wickets and was again a constant threat to England. With four left-handers in the touring team's top six, there is little sign of Lyon's dominance slowing.



Alastair Cook - 4

The former skipper at least made it beyond 25 for the first time in seven innings on the first dig, but he has only passed 50 three times this year. Surely England cannot afford to go in search for a replacement for the great left-hander as well as the revolving door of openers alongside him.

Mark Stoneman - 5

Displays impressive grit with regularity but perhaps feels under pressure to be the stroke-maker alongside Cook. Gave his wicket away in the second innings, perhaps conscious of the score slowing against Nathan Lyon, but Mitchell Starc is hardly the man to go after.

James Vince - 1

Memories of his fluid 83 at the Gabba are now distant after he contributed just 17 runs here. Concerns over Vince's propensity to nick off have been borne out and the right-hander, though clearly highly talented, would seem to be at greatest risk of losing his spot in Perth.

Joe Root - 4 

England's flickering hopes were built on his unbeaten 67 on day four, but he fell without adding to that on Wednesday. This match will be remembered for his bowl-first decision, however, and the young captain's inability to wrestle control out of his bowlers in the early period of the game left the team firmly behind the eight ball.

Dawid Malan - 5

Unlucky to only make 29 and 19 after receiving a pair of stonking Pat Cummins deliveries, each cutting his defences apart. His watchful approach and ability to hit boundaries sound like perfect attributes for a number three…

Moeen Ali - 3

At least looked fluid in Brisbane, but the all-rounder has now fallen to Lyon four times in as many innings in the series. Match figures of 0-99 point to Moeen's ever-fragile confidence becoming all the more brittle and there is no comparison with Lyon, who England is yet to solve.

James Anderson took his first five-wicket haul in Australia.   -  AFP


Jonny Bairstow - 5 

Perhaps unlucky to see Starc's cat-like reflexes and telescopic arms conspire to see his downfall in the first innings and his second-innings efforts counted for little buried too late in the game. The wicketkeeper seems wasted at seven. Glovework sterling as has come to be expected.

Chris Woakes - 6

A fuller length brought the best out of England's first-change bowler as he and Anderson dominated Australia at the second time of asking. A crucial late stand with Overton was perhaps crucial in convincing Smith not to enforce the follow-on, which helped the momentum swing on days three and four.

Craig Overton - 6

It can't get much better than having the top-ranked Test batsman as your first victim and Overton backed that up with an impressive all-round display, including a top-scoring first-innings 41.

Stuart Broad - 5 

Though there are few numbers to show for it, Broad largely bowled brilliantly and beat numerous edges in the first innings as Root's bowl-first tactic failed to pay off.

James Anderson - 6

A first five-for in Australia, in his 15th Test, was sweet reward for England's leading wicket-taker and featured Anderson operating at his very best. Blotted his copybook a tad with a pointless row with Smith on day one, featuring a childish placement at short, straight mid-on - right next to the Australian skipper at the non-striker's end.

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