Recent Match Report – West Aust vs South Aust 13th Match 2023/24

South Australia 192 & 119 for 6 (Nielsen 42*) lead Western Australia 204 (Cartwright 40, McAndrew 3-39, Buckingham 3-46) by 107 runs

Western Australia’s formidable pace attack again dominated South Australia on a grassy WACA surface to regain a stranglehold of a frenetic Sheffield Shield contest.

Leading by just 12 runs after being bowled out for 204, WA grabbed the initiative in the final session as the Redbacks crashed to 119 for 6 at stumps on day two.

Left-arm quick Joel Paris continued his strong form after dismissing opener Jake Carder for a duck in the first over. Sharing the new ball after taking 3 for 11 in South Australia’s first innings, seamer Aaron Hardie trapped Daniel Drew lbw with the Redbacks still trailing by seven runs.

Opener Henry Hunt’s disappointing match was capped when he was caught behind on 16 off quick Charlie Stobo. Jake Fraser-McGurk, who recently smashed the fastest List A century, sought a cavalier approach only to hit Stobo straight to cover in a sloppy dismissal.

Lance Morris bowled with trademark hostility and was rewarded with the wickets of skipper Jake Lehmann and Nathan McSweeney.

Paris was unable to complete his eighth over as he hobbled off after feeling tightness in his left groin. Given his lengthy injury history, he might not be risked on day three.

An attractive innings late in the day from wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen has given the Redbacks hopes of setting a tricky target on a bowler-friendly surface.

A result is almost certain on day three in a notable contrast to the high-scoring draw between WA and Tasmania in the last Shield match played at the WACA.

After a grim opening day, South Australia were desperate for early wickets in a bid to claw back into the contest. The Redbacks being hustled on a spicy deck after batting first had mirrored the corresponding fixture from last season.

In the back of their minds would have been Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman’s triple-century partnership en route to a big WA victory.

But the Redbacks are proving to be a more resolute team this season led by their dangerous attack, who hauled them back into the contest. Hardworking seamer Nathan McAndrew struck early when he had Whiteman caught at second slip by Ben Manenti.

It was a relief for Manenti who dropped Bancroft late on day one. His mood lifted further when Bancroft fell for 20 after he slashed a short and wide Jordan Buckingham delivery straight to point.

It was an uncharacteristically rash dismissal for the disciplined Bancroft, who has again been the standout batter in the Shield as he eyes a return to Test cricket.

WA’s hopes of batting just once in the match nosedived when Teague Wyllie was bowled off the inside edge from an inswinger from Buckingham, who continued his eye-catching start to the season.

Buckingham, 23, has been identified by the national selectors as a pace prospect underlined by playing for Australia A recently. He utilised the conditions superbly and conjured menacing swing to bowl effectively with quick Brendan Doggett, who bowled consistently around 140kph.

With WA bogged down, Hardie decided to counterattack and pounced on shorter deliveries from Buckingham to rally the innings alongside Hilton Cartwright.

But Hardie fell on the stroke of lunch after being bowled by Manenti, who conjured turn from the surface much like offspinning counterpart Corey Rocchiccioli a day earlier.

Cartwright then fell to Buckingham after the break as the momentum turned towards an increasingly confident Redbacks, who sniffed a lead when Jayden Goodwin was run out after a horrendous mix up with Josh Philippe.

It was a bitter disappointment for 21-year Goodwin, the son of former Zimbabwe Test batter Murray Goodwin, who found a position in WA’s powerful batting order after veteran Ashton Turner was ruled out with injury.

WA looked set for a deficit at 146 for 8 before Rocchiccioli and Stobo, who bats in the top four for his local grade team in Perth, effectively threw the bat in a freewheeling 58-run partnership.

The momentum shifted back to WA and their bowlers didn’t relinquish it.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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