Dixon makes immediate impact on debut

JOHN TOWNSEND

UPDATE: Matt Dixon made a great start to his interstate career with a wicket with his fifth ball as the Warriors chalked up a first win of the season with victory over Victoria at the MCG.

Dixon dismissed the dangerous Brad Hodge to produce an unforgettable first over.

The 18-year-old could hardly have asked for a more daunting challenge when he became the 150th one-day player and third youngest to represent WA.

But he responded in superb fashion by reaching 137kmh with his fourth delivery and then forcing a false shot with his next delivery that Hodge mis-hit to Liam Davis at third man.

The Warriors eventually won by seven wickets on the back of a century from Liam Davis and an unbeaten 94 from Marcus North.

The pair put on 176 for the third wicket as the Warriors finished on 3-239, passing the Bushrangers' 8-236 with nine balls to spare.

Dixon’s first over success followed the performance of left-armer Ryan Duffield who claimed a wicket with his first delivery in his debut against NSW last weekend.

“I am pretty excited to be playing my first game at such an awesome place like the MCG,” Dixon said before the game.

“I have only been there once before and that was to watch a Big Bash game a couple of years ago while the under 17 carnival was in Melbourne.”

Dixon’s selection came after WA’s pace stocks were gutted by injuries to first choice quicks Steve Magoffin, Brett Dorey, Brad Knowles and Nathan Coulter-Nile while Ashley Noffke retired after the season-opener.

Noffke quit his club team Mt Lawley on Friday to officially end any prospect of playing limited overs cricket for the Warriors this season.

Necessity prompted Dixon’s elevation though the WACA has also been conscious to stymie the interest of football and county cricket in the youngster.

Dixon was a powerful colts footballer for Subiaco who could have nominated for the AFL draft while three counties courted him this year because he can play in England as a local due to his family links.

He has been on WA’s radar for several seasons, particularly after claiming today’s team-mate Aaron Heal as his debut A Grade wicket three years ago when he was just 15.

Dixon spent the winter playing league cricket in Durham and came back a stronger bowler who made an immediate impact by claiming a five-wicket haul in the opening second XI match against South Australia.