Australia v South Africa, CB Series, 2nd ODI, Hobart January 19, 2009

Successful Marsh vows to improve

Cricinfo staff
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Shaun Marsh has scored 79 and 78 in the first two ODIs against South Africa © Getty Images
 

The Australia opener Shaun Marsh was the Man of the Match in his team's five-run victory against South Africa in Hobart but he said it was "very disappointing" that he didn't carry on to make a bigger score. Marsh made 78 off 103 balls to lead Australia to 249 for 9, a total that helped them draw level in the series.

He also made 79 in the series opener at the MCG, a game which Australia lost. In both matches, Marsh was dismissed while trying to hit the ball on the leg side.

"I've probably got out at crucial periods in both games and it's been very disappointing that I haven't gone on," Marsh said in the Mercury. "I've left the team in a bit of a tricky position so hopefully in the next few games I can really bat through the innings and do my job properly." Marsh said he would aim to maintain his concentration during the middle overs - he's been dismissed in the 38th and 33rd over - and focus on playing straighter, instead of looking to force the ball on the leg side.

Another player who had an important role in Australia's win was the Tasmania fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, who took 2 for 60 and delivered the final over of the game. Hilfenhaus' penultimate over at the MCG had cost 18 runs and contributed significantly to South Africa's victory. However, when faced with a similar situation in front of his home crowd - South Africa needed 17 to win off the last over - Hilfenhaus held his nerve and conceded only 11.

"To have that sort of pressure to deal with and get the job done, I think, will hold him in good stead for future games when he might be confronted with a similar situation," Ricky Ponting said. "It's like a batter as well, if you actually get out there and win a game, and get a team across the line, you know you've done it before and therefore do it again. For Hilfy that will be excellent for him."