Josh Hazlewood created 20 minutes of mayhem to shatter a West Australian team already demoralised by Moises Henriques’ potential Sheffield Shield winning century.
The first four WA batsmen fell for 10 runs as Hazelwood struck three times in his first 10 balls then ran out player of the year Marcus North.
“It was a train wreck,” coach Justin Langer said after WA staggered to 4-15 at stumps in the shield final.
“We couldn’t have had a worse day.
“Our guys persevered but Moises Henriques was outstanding but how do you explain the last half an hour?”
WA will require a remarkable, if not miraculous, performance to fight their way back into the shield final when they start the third day with a deficit of 432.
The Warriors reached stumps with Shaun Marsh one not out and nightwatchman Ryan Duffield four not out after they took just over 1000 deliveries to finally dismiss NSW for 447.
Langer refused to give up hope and said he had played enough cricket to know that teams could recover no matter how disastrous their position.
“There is still hope and I have been around five-day cricket long enough to know that things can turn around,” he said.
“We have some huge talent to come and it is a flat batting wicket.
“We just have to keep playing and trust our processes. If Shaun and Mitch Marsh can bat for a lon time and Sam Whiteman and Ashton Agar bat, you never know what might happen.
“We are not going to give up.”
Opener Cam Bancroft continued his horror run since the resumption of the shield campaign when he edged the first ball of the innings.
It was his second golden duck to start a WA innings against the Blues in just over a month.
Then Marcus Harris was trapped lbw by a Hazlewood inswinger to leave the big seamer on a hat-trick.
“There were a couple of youngsters coming in against the new ball after probably the longest they have ever fielded in their lives,” Langer said.
“There are no excuses though.”
As the 3232-strong Manuka Oval crowd cheered wildly, Adam Voges survived the Hazlewood hat-trick ball but was in the middle for only a few more minutes before edging the bowler to third slip.
The diving North was then run out by a Hazlewood direct hit when new batsman Shaun Marsh nudged Trent Copeland to midwicket and called his partner through for a sharp single.
Henriques’ third first-class century finally ended at 140 when he shovelled Duffield to fine leg where Michael Hogan completed a fine catch.
The wicket ended a 95-run stand with the unflappable Nathan Lyon who remained 36 not out when Hazlewood fell for a duck to give Duffield his third wicket.
Jason Behrendorff claimed 4-95 to have 38 wickets for the season while Hogan’s 3-78 gave him 36.