A brave unbeaten 95 by teenager Travis Head was not enough to save South Australia from defeat as WA had a resounding 110-run Sheffield Shield win at the WACA today.
Mitchell Johnson came through for the Warriors in a devastating spell with the second new ball as SA lost their last four wickets for 19 runs.
Johnson, who had been wicketless prior to the new ball being taken, finished with 3-52.
After a series of mixed spells early in the innings, Johnson bowled with genuine menace once the new ball was taken, claiming the critical wicket of SA skipper Johan Botha who was caught in slips by Mitchell Marsh.
Botha and Head had put on 67 for the seventh wicket in 23 overs to raise the visitors' hopes that they might hold on for a draw.
After Botha’s departure, wicket-keeper Tim Ludeman followed quickly, his stumps uprooted by Michael Hogan for a duck.
Chadd Sayers became Johnson’s second victim, caught by Nathan Coulter-Nile, also for a duck.
Last man Jake Haberfield was judged out caught behind by Tom Triffitt, fending at a Johnson short ball.
Head played bravely, striking the ball beautifully and defying one brutish blow on his right elbow from a Coulter-Nile lifter and looked set for a century before he ran out of partners.
WA captain Adam Voges said: “I think with all the ebbs and flows that went throughout the game, we were able to hang on for a bit longer than they were.
“I thought the boys really stuck at the job extremely well and did everything we asked of them today.”
WA took a strong grip on the match when they made two crucial breakthroughs in the second session.
Redbacks batting mainstay Michael Klinger, who had defied the WA attack for more than a session to score 56, was caught by Triffitt off Coulter-Nile.
And the dangerous Dan Christian followed Klinger back quickly, brilliantly caught by Adam Voges off Michael Beer for four.
SA were 6-158 at that point and staring a big loss in the face.
WA were already well on top by lunch after claiming three wickets in the first session to have the visitors on the ropes.
Starting the day at 1-32, needing a further 323 runs for victory, the Redbacks lost nightwatchman Joe Mennie and trump cards Phil Hughes and Callum Ferguson. SA were 4-113 at lunch with Klinger being the big hope on 43.
Mennie was caught in slips by Marsh off Hogan for six.
Hughes (26) carved a Coulter-Nile ball onto his stumps and Ferguson was run out brilliantly by Hogan who scored a direct hit on the stumps from deep fine leg.
WA wicket-keeper Triffitt, recruited from Tasmania this season, compiled his highest Sheffield Shield score to bat WA out of dire trouble and into a winning position yesterday.
Triffitt's 85 was crafted from 97 balls with nine fours and a six, after he arrived at the crease with WA a diabolical 5-24. He was the main reason WA were able to recover to post a challenging fourth-innings target for the Redbacks.The Warriors were dismissed just after drinks in the third session for 191, a lead of 354.
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