Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Marsh joins WA's elite after Redbacks stumble
South Australia lose eight for 84 before another Shaun Marsh century sets up an engrossing final day at Karen Rolton Oval
Louis Cameron at Karen Rolton Oval
12 October 2020, 07:16 PM AEST
Travis Head missed a chance to start his summer with a big score as Shaun Marsh showed him how it was done, crashing his 29th first-class ton to put Western Australia in the box seat to snag a season-opening Marsh Sheffield Shield victory.
Head threw away an early chance to pile on runs on a batter-friendly Karen Rolton Oval pitch ahead of the Test summer as Australia's incumbent No.5 was dismissed for 31 to spark a South Australian batting collapse on day three.
Skipper Marsh (102no from as many balls) and Cameron Bancroft (71) then swelled WA’s advantage to 362 runs in a 164-run second-wicket partnership, though WA did not opt to declare and have a late dip at their hosts with the ball today.
Marsh motored along during the final session, smashing Nick Winter over mid-wicket and into the venue’s car-park as he raced to his hundred off as many balls.
The 37-year-old, who struck 13 boundaries and a six, moved past Mike Veletta into Western Australia's top five all-time leading Shield run-scorers. At the close of play he sat on 7,346 runs, with his former teammate and now coach Adam Voges (7,522) in his sights.
With a WA declaration expected early on day four, South Australia now face a big final-day chase.
Just hours after Michael Neser (playing for Queensland at nearby Gladys Elphick Park) became the first player in a decade to take a five-wicket haul and score a century in the same game, Ashton Agar matched him as he added a first-innings haul of 5-103 to the unbeaten 114 he struck on the weekend.
Agar had Head caught on the square-leg boundary and then clean bowled Harry Nielsen with a big-turning delivery, before running through the Redbacks lower-order to ensure WA seized a 167-run first-innings lead.
Jake Weatherald (105) had kept SA in the game with a brisk century yesterday afternoon, but WA's prized recruit Cameron Gannon (3-65) needed just four balls to have him edging behind this morning.
Head should have been out on three when a healthy edge off Joel Paris flew to slip, only for Marsh to grass the chance.
But the left-hander failed to make the most of the let-off as he picked out Cameron Green on the boundary with a slog-sweep.
It marks a tenth consecutive first-class score for Head between 10 and 60 since his Boxing Day Test century against New Zealand.
His exit proved decisive as the Redbacks, from a position of reasonable strength at 2-230, squandered their final eight wickets for just 84 runs and fell 17 short of the follow-on target.
Only Brad Davis (57), the 30-year-old SA Premier Cricket veteran who was preferred at the first drop ahead of one-Test batter Callum Ferguson, and promising teen allrounder Liam Scott (23 not out) put up any further fight.
Davis held out for 166 balls, swivelling on short balls with a front-foot pull shot before that stroke proved his downfall when he skied one to Lance Morris on the fine-leg boundary.
Morris, who went wicketless with the ball despite offering glimpses of the raw pace that has earnt him the nickname 'Wild Thing', had earlier taken an athletic grab to dismiss Tom Cooper in the same spot, showing off some clever footwork to avoid stepping over the rope.
Fears that a reasonably benign surface may make it difficult to capture 20 South Australian wickets were eased somewhat when Agar found considerable turn from consecutive deliveries that pitched in footmarks outside the off-stump of Nielsen (10).
The second clean bowled the left-hander, with Agar sealing his five-for when his brother Wes, whom he copped a ferocious bouncer onslaught from yesterday, chipped back a simple return catch.
Sam Whiteman (18) looked miffed to be given out caught behind on a Chadd Sayers bouncer but the Redbacks otherwise toiled fruitlessly in the final session as Bancroft and Marsh extended the visitors' lead.
SA’s woes deepened when Liam Scott dropped Bancroft right before stumps, but they made up for it when Bancroft skied another and Cooper hung on to a terrific grab running towards the boundary on the stroke of stumps.
Most Sheffield Shield runs for WA
9406 – Justin Langer (108 games)
8853 – Tom Moody (132 games)
8007 – Mike Hussey (112 games)
7522 – Adam Voges (112 games)
7346 – Shaun Marsh (107 games)
Western Australia XI: Cameron Bancroft, Sam Whiteman, Shaun Marsh (c), Cameron Green, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Josh Inglis (wk), Joel Paris, Matt Kelly, Cameron Gannon, Lance Morris
South Australia XI: Jake Weatherald, Henry Hunt, Brad Davis, Travis Head (c), Tom Cooper, Harry Nielsen (wk), Liam Scott, Nick Winter, Chadd Sayers, Wes Agar, Lloyd Pope