Centurion Marcus Harris has backed WA's bowlers to defend a first innings score they hope passes 350 in the Sheffield Shield match against South Australia at the WACA Ground after he led a spirited fight-back yesterday.
With Nathan Coulter-Nile swinging lustily in the final session for 52, at stumps the Warriors had reached the first of their benchmarks to be 7-327. With Mitch Marsh set on 51, they will aim to press on past 350 today.
Harris, who had become the youngest player in Australian first-class cricket to score 150 aged 18 in 2011, had to wait 18 months for his second hundred but it was an important one - 114 grafted over two and a bit sessions.
He was dropped in the second over of the match - a soda of a chance to first slip spilled by Michael Klinger off the bowling of Chadd Sayers, and again on 51 when wicket-keeper Tim Ludeman spilled a tougher one off the bowling of Dan Christian.
But Harris and skipper Adam Voges shared a critical fourth-wicket partnership of 120 that took the Warriors from 3-60 - the score when Marcus North lobbed a mishit pull shot to mid-on to be out for seven - to 180 before Voges was caught on 47, nicking to second slip first ball after tea.
Harris, 20, said it was a better batting track than WACA Ground wickets earlier this season, but he still believed the Warriors had the bowlers to defend a solid score on it.
"In the first innings 300 or 350, something like that would be good," he said. "With our attack we can take wickets quickly."
Harris said he had had a difficult time since his breakthrough 157 against Queensland early in 2011.
But he was part of a batting line-up determined to redeem a poor start to the season, with new coach Justin Langer expected to join the team later this week.
"I have been hitting the ball quite well and haven't been getting past that 35 mark," he said.
"It is good to get one under my belt today and hopefully it will set up a good result for WA.
"It was a difficult year for me last year. I couldn't quite consolidate my spot. It is good to make another hundred now. I had a good partnership with Vogesy.
"We had to consolidate and we got ourselves going again."We have had an interesting few weeks. The results haven't shown that we have actually played quite well in two of the shield games."