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Recent Match Report – Western Australia vs South Australia 1st Match 2020

Western Australia 5 for 481 dec (Inglis 153*, Agar 114*, Pope 5-164) and 2 for 215 dec (Marsh 110*, Bancroft 71) beat South Australia 314 (Weatherald 105, Agar 5-103) and 177 (Head 54) by 205 runs

Western Australia closed out a resounding victory over South Australia with 57 balls to spare on the final day of the Sheffield Shield match at Karen Rolton Oval.

The Redbacks’ top order had gifted their wickets to the Warriors with a series of indifferent shots and decisions, but the hosts still managed to enter the final hour with four wickets still in hand.

Enter Ashton Turner, whose seldom used offbreaks accounted for Nick Winter when the left-arm paceman bunted a catch to Sam Whiteman at silly point, heralding the loss of SA’s last four wickets for eight runs, two of those claimed by Cameron Gannon and Joel Paris after Shaun Marsh took the second new ball with 12 overs of the match remaining.

Marsh had given SA more of a chance than other captains might have done when he batted on the final morning to reduce the Redbacks’ required number of overs to survive from 96 to 92.

Paris enjoyed success in the very first over when Henry Hunt pushed indeterminately at a ball angled across him to be caught behind, and after Brad Davis and Jake Weatherald added 45 with few alarms, the No. 3 was run out by a superb stop and then back hand flick from Gannon at cover as Davis ran with the shot and found himself stranded by the quick return.

Weatherald, a century-maker in the first innings, was beaten for pace by an Ashton Agar quicker ball and given lbw for 36, before Tom Cooper drove ambitiously at the debutant Lance Morris and dragged onto the stumps.

SA’s captain Travis Head played well for his half century, but from the final ball of the 46th over, marking the halfway point of his team’s survival assignment, he attempted an upper cut at Matthew Kelly and managed only a thin edge behind. Though Head has a tendency to be impetuous with the bat, this was a moment he will long regret.

The implications of Head’s error in judgment were made patently clear as Harry Nielsen, Liam Scott and Winter all sold their wickets more dearly. Nielsen lasted 88 balls before hooking straight to Cameron Bancroft and short backward square leg, and Scott’s determined resistance was ended by one of the few balls to misbehave all day, a shooter pinning him lbw to Kelly as Josh Inglis stood up to the stumps.

Though the clock and the overs ticked down, there was an air of inevitability about the closing moments, as the Redbacks, bottom placed each of the past three seasons, found themselves losing their opener to a more confident WA combination.

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