Mitch Marsh is not quite the forgotten Marsh but you could be forgiven for not spotting him in the glare cast by of his older brother’s extraordinary week.
While Shaun Marsh’s comeback Test century has been a major talking point, and sister Melissa has created her own waves after retiring from a splendid national basketball career, Mitch has been quietly finding his way into form.
Sure, he produced the highest strike rate in Australia’s brief Twenty20 history last Friday when he belted 37 from 12 balls in the Perth Scorchers’ Big Bash win.
But Marsh is attempting to build the foundations of a substantial first-class career and he took another step in that direction by underlining his value as a lively seam bowler in WA’s absorbing tussle with Tasmania at the WACA Ground.
Spearhead Nathan Coulter-Nile was unable to bowl after suffering a hamstring tear during his opening spell on the third day but his absence provided a chance for Marsh to step into the breach.
He responded with 4-35 from 13 probing overs that helped WA dismiss Tasmania for 286.
The loss of opener Cam Bancroft (10) and nightwatchman Michael Beer (four) left the Warriors vulnerable at 2-27 with another 228 required for victory.
Marcus North was undefeated after a patient 12 while Marcus Harris survived the final few balls for one not out.
“After what Shaun did, a few of the Tassie boys reminded me when I walked out to bat that the pressure was on,” Marsh said.
“It has been a great week for the family and it was great to see Shaun do so well the other night.”
Coulter-Nile’s absence significantly weakened a WA attack that did not have any success before lunch as former Test duo Ed Cowan and George Bailey built a steady lead for the Tigers.
It took WA 191 minutes into the day to claim their first Tasmanian success but once the dam wall was breached, there was no stopping the cascade of wickets.
Four Tigers were toppled in rapid fashion leading into tea at the WACA Ground as Tasmania forged a modest second innings lead of 187 in the vital Sheffield Shield match.
Luke Butterworth (four not out) and Ben Hilfenhaus (one not out) carry a weighty responsibility for their State after taking the score to 6-218.
North made the breakthrough when he ended Ed Cowan’s vigil for 59 but it was the pace of Marsh and Ryan Duffield that demolished Tasmania’s middle order.
Cowan produced the fourth-slowest half-century at the WACA when he took exactly four hours to reach 50.
His stand of 136 with captain George Bailey (83) provided a platform for the Tigers but it was constructed so slowly that the sudden clatter of wickets left the visitors vulnerable.
Cowan slashed North to backward point to fall at 200 then Bailey, whose hip injury appeared to flare during his knock, fell at the same score when he edged Marsh behind.
The lively seamer drew another edge from Tim Paine (four) in his next over while Ben Dunk (nine) gave Duffield his first wicket of the match when he nicked to slip.
A day after Coulter-Nile was bought at the IPL auction for $708,000, he was able to bowl just 3.3 overs yesterday before leaving the field with what was initially diagnosed as cramp.
But he was found to have a hamstring strain this morning and was sent for scans this afternoon to confirm the extent of the damage.
He is expected to bat if required.