Siddle accuses WA of 'not having a crack'

Comments from Bushrangers captain earns response from WA coach Justin Langer following tense Shield game

A frustrated Peter Siddle has accused Western Australia of 'not having a crack for all four days' of their Sheffield Shield match against Victoria, criticism that earned a swift response from Warriors coach Justin Langer.

Siddle, captaining the Bushrangers in the absence of the injured Matthew Wade, was left frustrated on Tuesday after his side fell two wickets short of an outright victory.

Led by a maiden first-class century from Will Bosisto, the Warriors batted out 106 overs in the fourth innings to finish on 8-282 having been set 390 to win.

Full report from the MCG: WA hold on for a draw

The Vics found scoring much easier than the Warriors throughout the match at the MCG; WA posted 272 from 107 overs in their first innings in response to Victoria's 423, which came from just three overs more. Overall, the Bushrangers scored their runs at 3.98 an over compared to a run rate of 2.60 from WA.

Having also declared twice in an effort to push the game forward, a frustrated Siddle let his feelings be known after play.

"When you've played four hard days of cricket and you're the only team playing out there, it does make it hard," he said, borrowing from Bill Woodfull's famous quote from the 1932-33 Bodyline series. 

"You come here to play against an opposition and you're pretty much playing a match by yourself. That's the disappointing thing.

"On a wicket ... you could probably still play another couple of days on it. Great opportunities.

"We scored over four an over in both innings (and) I think that explains everything about the way we're going about our cricket at the moment and the way the opposition is.

"They can play how they want to play. We don't mind the way we play. We'll keep playing like that.

"They didn't have a crack at all for four days. It was up to us to run the game the whole match.

"We gave them a couple of generous declarations. We gave them plenty of opportunities and they didn't take any of them.

"To get those last few wickets was a great effort by the boys. But there's a lot of disappointment in a lot of ways."

Langer initially held his tongue when asked about Siddle's comments, before deciding to respond.

The former Test opener suggested Siddle's frustrations may have been due to the fact the Bushrangers side, boasting seven players with international experience, were unable to finish the job against a Warriors team featuring seven players aged 25 and under. 

"It's none of Sidds's business how we play our cricket, as it's none of our business how they play their cricket," Langer said, who also noted that Siddle "had his eyes down" when the players shook hands after the match.

"We've got kids ... it's pretty rich for him to carry on about how we play our cricket.

"They have an incredibly senior team, an international team.

"He'll probably be a bit stroppy because they didn't get the points against a very young Western Australian cricket team.

"I'm so proud of the way our boys fought ... I can't ask for any more than that."

Despite his disappointment, Siddle was also beaming with pride in his first match as Bushrangers skipper.

"I'm very proud of how the boys went about it," he said.

"The way we played this game; to set up a base, to be aggressive to get us to a total quickly so we could declare on the second day, bowl the way we did, then attack again with the bat to give us that declaration and give us that chance to get it done, credit goes to everyone out there.

"They toiled hard, we stayed out there and toiled until the very last minute and the very last ball to see how we would go.

"I think to get 18 wickets on a very tough wicket probably speaks for itself. It's a great effort."

The two teams will meet again in 10 days’ time in the next round of Shield matches, with Siddle likely to be unavailable due to Test duties in Adelaide.

The Bushrangers are the only unbeaten team after three rounds of the Shield competition and are 6.1 points ahead of the third-placed Warriors.