In a triangular tournament in Australia with Zimbabwe, Australia and West Indies, Zimbabwe played their final match with Australia and Marillier got a chance in the team. He could hardly have had a more testing experience, as a fine Zimbabwe batting performance after Australia scored over 300 meant that he came in at number seven needing to score 15 to win the match in the final over, which was to be bowled by Glenn McGrath. Marillier moved across to the first two balls he received from McGrath and flicked them over his shoulder to fine leg for boundaries, reviving hopes of an incredible Zimbabwe victory. But he was just unable to complete the job, and his team lost by one run. His two courageous and unorthodox boundary strokes, though, made him a legend, with the shot becoming known as the Marillier shot.
Marillier continued to do reasonably well for the national side. In 2002 he "Marilliered" Zimbabwe to a famous win in India in an One Day International with 56 not out at the death, although this time he used the shot against Zaheer Khan.
Other notable exponents of the Marillier shot include the New Zealand wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum, Western Warriors former wicket-keeper Ryan Campbell, the England opener, Andrew Strauss, the Indian batsmen Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma and the Australian captain Ricky Ponting.