Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Sheffield Shield season review: Western Australia
Adam Voges looks back on an eventful summer for the men from the west that ended with them finishing fifth in the Sheffield Shield
23 March 2020, 10:32 AM AEST
Marsh Sheffield Shield Fifth (Won two, lost three, drew three, one no-result)
Leading run scorer Shaun Marsh (724 runs @ 48.26, 2x100, 3x50, High 214)
Leading wicket-taker Matthew Kelly (27 wickets @ 28.48, econ 3.04, Best 5-63)
It was a mixed year for Western Australian cricket. The state did claim silverware, winning the Marsh One-Day Cup, but also tasted lows by going winless in the second half of the Marsh Sheffield Shield season.
Their vaunted fast bowling stocks again suffered injuries, and three of their most senior players in Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Turner and Hilton Cartwright all finished out of the side's first XI.
But the blossoming of Cameron Green's talent with the bat was a silver lining after the youngster was restricted from bowling with another stress fracture.
Adam Voges, in his second year as the state's head coach, recaps an eventful summer for the state.
Where it went right
"Obviously the Marsh One Day Cup was a really good start to the season. To see them lift the trophy in Brisbane was terrific and Shaun Marsh's hundred in that final was outstanding.
"The others are a couple of the younger players who have come through this season. Cameron Green in particular has been an amazing story from batting at No.8 and picked primarily as a bowler to getting his maiden hundred at the Gabba, save that game and then finish as the fourth-leading run-scorer. That was awesome.
"Aaron Hardie scoring a debut hundred in his third first-class game at the end of the season as well.
Where it went wrong
"Our back-half of the Shield season was disappointing and frustrating. We weren't playing our best cricket at the back end and when games were there in the balance, we weren't playing well enough and got exposed by some good sides. That was frustrating at the time.
"To head into the Big Bash break in second and then not win a game in the back-half of the season – albeit the fight shown in the draw against Queensland was good – but to not get the results against the Dukes ball was the biggest frustration of the season.
"I don’t think you can blame any one thing, we were really good against the Dukes at the back end of last summer. But we had a number of guys who were not in the best of form – a number of senior players out of the team like Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Turner and Hilton Cartwright. Not having some of your senior players in form and playing well has an effect.
"As a bowling unit Joel Paris and Matt Kelly did a great job but they weren't getting support and we had a pretty young bowling attack by the end of the summer as well."
The surprise packet
"The easy answer is Cameron Green. If you'd asked me if he'd be in the top four Shield run scorers at the start of the year I wouldn't have believed you.
"To score just shy of 700 runs in a Shield season as a 20-year-old picked as a bowler at the start of the year… We certainly knew there was a talented batsman in there but his evolution and the way he's gone about it has been phenomenal.
"Like a lot of young players, you get that one big score under the belt and with that comes a lot of belief and confidence you can perform at first-class level, and we certainly saw that throughout the year.
"I thought his hundred down in Hobart on a tricky day one Blundstone Arena pitch when we were in a bit of trouble just showed a lot of maturity for such a young guy.
"His decision making and maturity as a cricketer is well beyond his years, particularly to perform in pressure situations is a huge credit on him."
Best individual bowling performance
"Matt Kelly's 5-63 on the final day against South Australia was brilliant, but I'd also put in Jhye Richardson's effort against Victoria at the WACA. There might not be a huge number of wickets, but the way he went about it to win that game was outstanding (Richardson claimed 3-58 and 3-40 in the match)."
Best individual batting performance
"We had a few contenders but it's hard to go past Shaun Marsh's double hundred against Victoria. As captain, he had an outstanding game."
"The Marsh Cup final was certainly our most important win, but also that Shield win against Victoria at the WACA. That was as complete a performance that we played in this season."
The 'we let it slip' moment
Beau Webster made WA pay big time for dropping him on 97! He finished on 187 off 187 balls...@MarshGlobal | #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/jSPWoZoq0d— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 26, 2020
"Our catching in our last couple of games. To drop Beau Webster on 90-odd down in Hobart and he ends up going on and making a match-winning hundred in that first innings which completely changed the nature of that game.
"And then we missed a couple of chances against Queensland early in their first innings in our last game. They ended up putting on 170 for their first wicket but it could have been a very different story."
Strangest moment of the season
"I can't say I've ever been in an abandoned game before. That match at the MCG (called off on the first morning because of an unsafe pitch) certainly has to be the strangest moment of our season, just to see the amount of balls jumping off a length from the divots that got created earlier in the game.
"Common sense prevailed in the end but it certainly was an interesting time. You can tolerate a certain level if the odd one jumps up and hits a batter on the glove, you take that, that's just part of the game, but when it's happening four or five times an over and guys are getting hit in the head off good length balls, repeatedly getting hit and the near misses as well, we knew that wasn't right."
Toughest team to face
"We copped a full-strength New South Wales side in Sydney, so having to face a bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Patrick Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe… we were always going to be made to earn our runs in that game!"
Your overall Shield player of the season
"Victoria's Nic Maddinson had a terrific year with the bat. But Michael Neser, he's just a great all-round cricketer. He leads the Queensland attack brilliantly, he just keeps coming at you and never gives in."