Shield final: Bancroft’s unbeaten century puts WA in control


Bancroft shared a WA Protect remaining report 188-run stand with Whiteman, who made 85

Western Australia 290 for 3 (Bancroft 135*, Whiteman 85) towards Victoria

Western Australia took a serious step in the direction of ending their 23-year Sheffield Protect title drought with Cameron Bancroft‘s very good century placing them in a robust place on the opening day of the ultimate towards Victoria on the WACA floor in Perth.

Bancroft posted his fifteenth Protect century and his first in a remaining, batting your entire day to complete 135 not out from 259 balls with 16 boundaries as WA racked up 290 for 3 at stumps.

Having been despatched into bat, Bancroft and Sam Whiteman, who made an aesthetic 85, set a brand new report opening stand for WA in Protect finals, placing collectively 188 to surpass the earlier mark of 155 set by Michael Hussey and Ryan Campbell within the final Protect remaining held on the WACA floor in 1997-98. It was additionally Bancroft and Whiteman’s sixth century stand collectively in Protect cricket.

Victoria had little pleasure apart from a late breakthrough within the remaining over, with Hilton Cartwright slashing the second final ball of the day from Will Sutherland to gully the place he was brilliantly caught by Jono Merlo.

Captain Peter Handscomb had no hesitation in bowling after the coin fell his method, maybe spooked after seeing a really similar-looking pitch to the one which his aspect had been despatched in on final week solely to lose by an innings and 51 runs.

Nevertheless it was a beautiful batting monitor for Bancroft and Whiteman.

Bancroft, 29, confirmed why he was as soon as Australia’s first-choice Check opener with one among his finest Protect centuries. His usually scrutinised stability and timing have been on-song from ball one as Victoria’s quicks erred far too full to him within the opening session. He caressed a bevy of drives by means of the covers and down the bottom.

Whiteman was much less fluent within the first hour and a half, having been tied down by the metronomic Scott Boland from across the wicket. Bancroft’s rhythm took the stress off his accomplice as he reached his half-century off 83 balls with a chic drive straight of mid-off.

Whiteman’s innings was sparked when Merlo’s medium tempo was launched. He dropped brief twice in two balls, and the left-hander unfurled two dismissive pull pictures over ahead sq..

WA reached 99 with out loss at lunch, with Victoria managing simply seven maidens in 29 overs within the first session because the ball did not swing or seam wherever close to as a lot as anticipated.

Victoria created some half possibilities after lunch as they stemmed the scoring for a interval. Boland was notably unfortunate within the second over after the break. He discovered Whiteman’s outdoors edge with an outstanding supply that zipped throughout the left-hander, however it by some means did not carry to wicketkeeper Sam Harper.

Whiteman reached a affected person half-century from 122 balls with 9 fours however almost ran himself out shortly after, taking up Merlo at midwicket for a pointy single, and he was lucky the throw simply missed. Bancroft hardly performed a false shot, however he did slice Sutherland simply excessive and vast of gully on 71.

The pair cruised previous 150 within the forty seventh over and previous Hussey and Campbell’s report of 155. That they had sights on a double century stand earlier than Whiteman lastly fell for 85 on the stroke of tea. He sliced Boland to gully making an attempt a sq. drive, and Sutherland took a wonderful catch. Boland might need been lucky to not have been known as for a no-ball as replays confirmed he overstepped, nonetheless, the third umpire can solely adjudicate on catches, run-outs and stumpings on this remaining with the restricted know-how obtainable.

Bancroft reached his century shortly after tea with a neat leg look regardless of Victoria making an attempt to arrange a legside entice. He nicked a ball within the subsequent over by means of a vacant second slip however continued on his dominance thereafter.

Victoria have been in a position to gradual the sport for a interval within the first hour of the ultimate session through their two spinners Jon Holland and Matt Brief. Holland solely bowled three overs within the first 48 of the day. Brief was launched with the arrival of the left-handed Shaun Marsh, and it was an impressed transfer by Handscomb. Marsh ran previous one, overwhelmed by intelligent flight, flip and bounce to be stumped by a mile for simply 12.

The spinners then tied down Bancroft and Cartwright as the sport stalled earlier than the second new ball. WA wanted to watch out to not waste the beginning that they had made on condition that first-innings bonus factors may determine the ultimate in case of a drawn match, with 0.01 of a degree given for each run previous 200 and 0.1 for each wicket taken within the first 100 overs of the primary two innings of the match.

WA have been 250 for two when the second new ball was taken however Cartwright clattered 15 from Boland’s first over with the brand new ball to reassert their authority on the day.

They scored 40 in 10 overs, however Cartwright will rue his false stroke proper on stumps as he fell for 41 and left nightwatchman Matt Kelly one ball to face, which he survived.

Alex Malcolm is an Affiliate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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