Late wickets have left the Warriors precariously placed despite a strong bowling display earlier on a humid first day of their Bupa Sheffield Shield clash with the Tasmanian Tigers at the WACA Ground on Thursday.
WA’s attack, led by the returning Ryan Duffield (3-61) and teenage
spinner Ashton Agar (3-47), had reduced the Tigers to 8-138 before the visitors’
tail wagged and got them to 211.
However, in reply the West Australians stumbled, losing
their top order to be 6-54 at stumps with Ben Hilfenhaus (2-21) and Luke
Butterworth (2-14) causing no end of problems.
Earlier, WA captain Mike Hussey had won the toss and sent
the Tigers in to bat, with the conditions favourable to bowling.
The decision paid off with Duffield getting rid of the
Tigers’ openers, reducing them to 2-17.
Shortly after lunch, Michael Hogan took the key wicket of
Ricky Ponting for 28 and when Tasmania skipper George Bailey followed straight
after, caught behind off Duffield, WA were on top with the Tigers 5-86.
Agar got rid of Jon Wells, James Faulkner and Luke
Butterworth after some brief Tasmanian aggression before the tail hung around,
putting on 73 runs for the last two wickets, reaching 211 before WA debutant Burt
Cockley took the final wicket.
However, WA’s good work was undone in the final session of
the day as Butterworth and Hilfenhaus caused the top order all sorts of
Butterworth got the key wicket of Hussey, caught by Bailey
in the slips for 3, with Tuesday’s RYOBI One-Day Cup centurion Mitch Marsh following
in the first ball of the next over, lbw off Adam Maher.
At stumps, WA are 6-54 with Sam Whiteman (6 not out) and
Duffield (4 not out) at the crease, needing plenty more runs on day two to get
back into the contest.