Marcus Harris’ second first class century and support roles from captain Adam Voges, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Marsh have rescued WA’s fragile batting order from the prospect of more grief on day one of their Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia at the WACA Ground.
Harris crafted 114 – his first ton since a breakthrough 157 against Queensland 18 months ago as a teenager - as the warriors recovered from an early stumble to finish the day at 7-327 with Marsh well set on 51.
Coulter-Nile swung mightily for a quickfire third session 52 to drive the Warriors well past 300.
But the hard work was done earlier. Harris shared a 120-run partnership with Voges, whose 47 provided timely support after the home team had slumped to 3-60.
Harris survived two missed chances by the South Australians. Voges scrapped hard before he was dismissed first ball after tea, driving at Joe Mennie and being caught by Dan Christian at second slip.
Harris followed soon after, caught down the leg side by keeper Tim Ludeman off paceman Jake Haberfield.
He had brought up with his century on the second last ball before tea with a slashing off drive off South Australian all-rounder Christian to leave his team at 3-188 after a sparkling middle session.
WA were teetering at lunch following the dismissal of former skipper Marcus North 10 minutes before the long break.
They were 3-68, with opener Harris on 42 and new captain Voges new at the crease battling to re-build an innings that went wrong from the start.
The Warriors run rate had slowed to a trickle during the first session, at one stage scoring just 11 runs in 14 overs in the face of tight bowling from Christian, Sayers and Johan Botha.
North laboured for seven runs off 40 balls in 46 minutes and was dropped once before mistiming a pull shot off young fast bowler Jake Haberfield to be caught by Mennie fielding at mid-on.
Earlier WA had lost opener Liam Davis in a disastrous run out for 4 in the fourth over after a mix up with Harris to leave the home team at 1-11.
Harris and Sam Whiteman steadied the innings to a degree, putting on a 33 run partnership before Whiteman was dismissed for 14, caught at third slip by Phil Hughes slashing at a wide ball from Christian.The Warriors had won the toss and batted, making Jason Behrendorff 12th man. Daniel Worrall was 12th man for the Redbacks.
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