Blues on top of WA at WACA
Jason Behrendorff of the Warriors is congratulated by team-mates after dismissing Kurtis Patterson of the Blues during day one of the Sheffield Shield. Picture: Getty Images

Canberra has often had a baleful influence on Western Australia but not at the WACA Ground today.

Two of the national capital’s most promising cricket products illuminated a tough opening day in the match against NSW that carries significant weight in the composition of the Sheffield Shield ladder.

The Warriors will travel to Canberra next month for the final qualifying match of the season while the presence of Major League Baseball at the SCG means that the shield final is likely to be shifted to Manuka Oval should NSW maintain their position at the top of the table.

WA paceman Jason Behrendorff and NSW opener Ryan Carters were under-19 team-mates in Canberra before their first-class aspirations took them west and east.

They had met twice in Big Bash games but had never encountered each other in red-ball cricket until today.

Carters took the honours with his third century of the summer, a composed and patient 104 that helped the Blues compile a competitive 7-291.

It was the highest day one score produced by a visiting team at the WACA in eight years.

Behrendorff’s impact was short of his opponent’s but his three-wicket return ended three promising starts and compensated for WA’s mostly listless bowling attack.

Not until Mitch Marsh cranked up his engine for an imposing late burst that ended Carters’ 289-minute stay did any WA bowler threaten to harass the NSW batsmen on a pitch that was true but surprisingly slow.

Michael Hogan claimed two late wickets, including Blues captain Peter Nevill from the last delivery of the day.

The West Australian

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