Whiteman whacks Redbacks in thumping Shield win

WESTERN AUSTRALIA produced a dominant batting display in its Sheffield Shield match against South Australia at the WACA, an effort that was spearheaded by a near double-century from opener Sam Whiteman.

The Redbacks batted first and set the total at 299, which was solid but should have probably been higher given the pitch, which looked like being a road. The West Australians took advantage of the surface, with their opening pair combining for 308 runs at WACA Ground in Perth.

The home side stormed home to a total of 444 off the back of their openers, and that proved far too much for the Redbacks, who succumbed to the opposition with the final margin sitting at an innings and 28 runs in a thumping win for Western Australia, its third of the season to retain top spot in the standings.

Western Australia (444) def. South Australia (299 & 117)

Sam Whiteman – 193 (394)

It might have been a marathon, but Whiteman finally got back into form in the best way possible. He was dismissed for a duck in his past two Shield innings, but took full advantage of a batter’s pitch. Combining with fellow opener Cameron Bancroft, Whiteman was outstanding at weathering any attack brought forward by the Redbacks bowling unit.

Whiteman was patient at the crease, waiting for a slip up from the bowler before making his move. His first boundary came 22 balls into his knock, slicing the ball off the front foot down leg side as it raced away for four. He played an almost identical shot a couple of deliveries later, forcing the field and bowler’s placement to adjust accordingly.

Whiteman showcased a variety of shots over the course of his innings, including a pair of classy cover drives that burst away for four at the start of his knock that were absolutely textbook. Off the back foot, he was just as precise, highlighted by a cut shot that shot past gully and point for another boundary.

He brought up his 50 with an aggressive hook shot down leg side for yet another four, pouncing on the short delivery in flash. The magic 100-mark was brought up with another cut shot which yielded two runs, as Whiteman raised the helmet and bat with joy, having stormed into form in style.

As the day wore on and Whiteman withstood a wicket to Bancroft, it appeared more and more likely that he would make an elusive double-ton, which would have been thoroughly deserved. However, South Australia finally got his measure with a beautiful out-swinger from Liam Scott, with Harry Nielsen taking the catch behind the stumps.

While he fell seven runs short of achieving the 200 milestone, Whiteman still produced one of the biggest opening knocks we have seen over the last couple of years, and should give him plenty of confidence in the coming weeks.

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