Inglis and Agar centuries drive WA
A record WA stand of 266 for the sixth wicket between Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis has helped Western Australia to the ascendency after two days of their Sheffield Shield match against South Australia at Karen Rolton Oval.
Both Agar and Inglis reached centuries as part of an unbroken stand for the sixth wicket, the Western Australian wicketkeeper with his maiden century for his state before Jake Weatherald responded in kind with a hundred of his own for the Redbacks, who closed the day at 1-168, still 303 runs behind on a day dominated by the batsmen.
The visitors resumed on 5-310 with Inglis and Agar having already added 95 runs heading in to day two, the pair seeing off the early threat of Chadd Sayers and Nick Winter despite five successive maidens to start the day.
Agar eventually broke free with a pair of cracking square drives to the boundary, Inglis also capitalising on anything loose as he reached a half century in the opening half hour.
Inglis was quick to take on the leg spin of Lloyd Pope, who struggled to back up his first day five wicket haul as he offered an assortment of long hops and full tosses for the WA batsmen to feast on.
Skipper Travis Head's off spin was even less successful as the runs began to flow from the northern end, both Agar and Inglis in sight of centuries before lunch as the partnership passed 200.
Inglis reached the milestone first with a back cut for four behind point off Liam Scott, his first century in 35 Sheffield Shield matches after nine half centuries since his debut in 2017.
Agar followed suit in the following over with a crunching pull off Nick Winter, his first ton since 2015 and the third of his first class career.
The 26 year old then avoided a scare when he was struck on the helmet two balls later, cleared to continue after a medical check from doctors.
The pair resumed after lunch having batted through the opening session without loss of a wicket, Inglis signalling a more aggressive intent as he hit the first two balls of the session from Wes Agar to the third man boundary with successive fine square cuts.
Inglis then took Pope to task in a blistering assault that saw him clear the boundary on three occasions, racing to 153* at which point captain Shaun Marsh declared the innings closed at 5-481.
Agar had also reached a career high score of 114*, the partnership worth 266 to break the all time record sixth wicket stand for Western Australia.
WA's bowlers found the going just as difficult in the second half of the day on a benign pitch, Redbacks openers Jake Weatherald and Henry Hunt cashing in as they put on 125 for the first wicket either side of tea.
Recruit Cameron Gannon made the breakthrough when he removed Hunt for 57 smartly caught by Ashton Turner at short mid-on, but Weatherald continued unperturbed to his seventh first class hundred, strong square of the wicket on both the on and off side.
He was still there at the close on 104 with 13 fours and three sixes, while Brad Davis was on 14 in a partnership that has already realised 53 runs.
Gannon has 1-43 to be the only successful wicket taker for the visitors, on a wicket that has offered the bowlers little on the opening two days, making a result unlikely with two days remaining.
Meanwhile at Gladys Elphick Park Australia number three Marnus Labuschagne made his first Sheffield Shield ton in two years, posting 167 to helpQueensland to an 81 run first innings lead with four wickets in hand in their match against Tasmania.
Play will resume at 8:30 PM AWST tomorrow morning, broadcast on 91.3 Sport FM courtesy of cricket.com.au.
IMAGE: WACA Twitter.