When the clock ticked in to the final hour at Karen Rolton Oval Western Australia needed four wickets to beat South Australia, who just had to survive it for a draw.
The Warriors didn’t even need half that time as the home team lost 4-8 in quick fashion to surrender to a team which was their superior for all four days of the Sheffield Shield opener which provided a potential snapshot of Australia’s cricketing future.
A century and five wickets from all-rounder Ashton Agar, who was named man of the match,was a drought-breaking effort which have repercussions at Test level.
And the buzz about powerful West Australian all-rounder Cameron Green was justified in one massive swat that set the tone for a push towards what became a final session victory over South Australia.
Green smashed swing maestro Chadd Sayers for a six so big SA captain Travis Head had to leave the ring of steel surrounding Karen Rolton Oval to fetch it.
It was the exclamation point on a WA innings that set the Redbacks an impossible task to win their Sheffield Shield opener. The home team took the game into the final hour, but couldn’t survive it.
“To lose 20 wickets on a wicket we were only able to take seven on, we’ve got some work to do on both sides of our game. We have to try to find a method that will have success,” Head said.
“We’ve got some young guys in the team who are trying to learn the game, but we have some senior guys who need to stand up.”
Head, the incumbent Test number six and SA captain, was out, caught on the boundary, swatting Agar in the first innings for 31 and then didn’t walk off the field, he stormed off it when dismissed for 54 on the final day.
His habit of slashing at balls outside his off-stump has long been his kryptonite, and it cost him again, this time after carving out what had been a patient, captains’s knock.
Head said he took a lot of “ownership” for his bad first innings shot given his team was 2-230 at that stage.
“It was a poor shot,” he said.
“You’ve got to continue to try and get better and I’ll learn from that.”
Hang on a second! Turner removes Winter!
Three wickets left…
Watch #SheffieldShield live: https://t.co/Ywc0rUM7kJ pic.twitter.com/DT03Zv0Eaj
The Redbacks won just two of nine matches last season, which lead to a review from Test great Mike Hussey and a change in coach.
Jason Gillespie, who took the reins, wasn’t at the match as he finishes quarantine after arriving home from England. He will be on deck for round two and will want to turn his team’s fortunes around.
WA took to the SA bowlers piling on 696 runs for the loss of just seven wickets across two innings, and SA lost 9-130 after a good start in the first innings before the final session collapse.
Rookie West Australian quick Lance Morris took his first Sheffield Shield wicket against South Australia (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
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