THE SOUTH Australia Redbacks have gotten off to the perfect start in their Sheffield Shield clash against the Tasmanian Tigers at Blundstone Arena.
In the first innings, the Redbacks produced a solid score of 329 runs, behind a pair of tons from their top order, setting themselves up in a big way against Tasmania.
On quite a green wicket, the Tigers failed to capitalise on the condition of the pitch, and allowed Nathan McSweeney and Jake Weatherald to fire with bat in hand and subsequently make their own life much more difficult heading into the second innings.
South Australia in the first innings – 329
The Tigers won the toss and opted to bowl first, given the seam-friendly nature of the wicket. Things looked shaky early for the visiting side, especially after opener Henry Hunt edged one through to the keeper off a Peter Siddle delivery on just one run. However, Weatherald was able to withstand Tasmania’s bowling attack, and got his total ticking over in reasonably quick fashion, looking to play proactively and use his footwork to conjure boundaries.
With 16 boundaries in just 132 deliveries, you would be forgiven for thinking Weatherald was playing in a one-day match, notching up his ton with a strike rate of 75.76, which is a stand out figure given it is in first class format. Unfortunately, his fun ended there after Siddle drew another edge and the opener’s block attempt was edged straight through to second slip. However, Weatherald had still put South Australia in a winning position with his attacking knock.
Although Tasmania had finally dismissed the early danger man, the Redbacks were still chugging along nicely thanks to the gradual work of McSweeney. He came in at four, and patiently built his total with a strike rate of 48.96. Waiting until the right moment to pick gaps in the field, he did not favour any one shot, looking to penetrate the fielding set-up, reaching triple figures before being dismissed for 118 off 241 balls.
The Redbacks were finally all out early on day two, putting plenty of pressure on the Tasmanian batting order to perform on its own deck.
Around the grounds, New South Wales marked Adam Zampa‘s return to red-ball cricket in style, with the spinner helping his side bowl Victoria out for 209 with the Blues now looking to take the lead, while the Queensland Bulls have gotten off to a strong start against Western Australia early on day one.