Western Australia wins high scoring thriller
Western Australia's defence of their Marsh One Day Cup title has got off to a positive start, defeating South Australia by 13 runs at the WACA on Tuesday.
725 runs were scored in the match with four players registering centuries, Cameron Green's 144 and Shaun Marsh's 114 taking WA to a strong score of 5-369 before Travis Head produced his second stunning knock of the week in smashing 142 from 86 with support from Harry Nielsen (110 from 118 balls) to put South Australia in the box seat at 1-280.
However a staggering collapse of 9-56 saw the game slip from the Redbacks grasp, four run-outs not helping their cause as Western Australia surged to victory just moments before a thunderstorm arrived at the venue, a second straight thriller between the states after their Sheffield Shield clash came down to the final ball on Sunday.
South Australia sent the home side in to bat upon winning the toss, heavy rain on Monday afternoon and further rain forecast playing a part in Travis Head's decision to bowl first.
Cameron Bancroft (18) fell LBW to Daniel Worrall inside the initial powerplay but Sam Whiteman and Shaun Marsh added 77 for the second wicket before Whiteman was bowled trying to paddle sweep Travis Head for 43.
It would be the last South Australian wicket for more than 20 overs as Marsh and young gun Green added 156 for the third wicket, Marsh finding the boundary with ease and Green clearing it with regularity, hitting three successive sixes from the off-spin of Head to reach his half century.
Marsh became WA's all time leading one day run scorer during his innings, taking the record from former team mate and state coach Justin Langer in surpassing his tally of 3374 runs in the canary yellow.
Marsh reached his tenth List A century and second in succession dating back to last summer's Marsh Cup Final, tiring late in his knock as he holed out in to the deep for 114 having hit fourteen fours.
From there it was the Green show as the 21 year old backed up his unbeaten 168 in the Sheffield Shield match with a thrilling 144 that featured sixteen fours and four sixes.
He fell in the last over with the home side setting a strong score of 5-369, the Redbacks needing a good start to be any chance of overhauling such a large total.
Left handed opening pair Jake Weatherald and Harry Nielsen added 54 before the former edged behind off debutant Liam Guthrie for 29, bringing Redbacks captain Head to the crease.
Along with Nielsen the pair batted the South Australian side in to the ascendency after a slightly slow start, adding a superb 226 as both players recorded centuries.
Head was savage on the bowling in making a sensational 142 from just 86 deliveries, hitting fifteen fours and six sixes including three in successive overs to give the innings some impetus.
Having been struck a blow on the foot Head was run out coming back for a second run to fine leg courtesy of a rocket throw from Cameron Green, finally giving the home side an opening at 2-280.
Nielsen reached his century two balls after but then was involved in a mix-up that saw wicketkeeper Alex Carey also run out without facing a ball.
Callum Ferguson looked to be steadying the innings as he produced a cameo of 27 from 18 balls before the veteran swung and missed at Aaron Hardie to be bowled middle stump, the all-rounder with the key scalp of the set Nielsen for 110 in his next over caught at deep point by debutant Nick Hobson.
The clouds were beginning to role in with the scheduled storms forecast, Tom Cooper joining the list of run out victims after Corey Kelly slipped at the non-strikers end turning for a second run, Cooper not realising in time and being stranded mid-pitch.
The rest were brushed aside by Joel Paris and Liam Guthrie, Cameron Valente with a late cameo to try and get his side home but run out trying to come back for two in the final over with leg-spinning debutant Peter Hatzoglou, the second run out of the innings as the Redbacks were bowled out for 356.
It meant Head and Nielsen's brilliant stand went in vain, Green player of the match for his superb innings as WA won their opening game of the Marsh Cup despite missing up to eleven first choice players due to both international selection and injury.
South Australia were left to rue their batting collapse that was bought about by poor running between the wickets and erratic shot selection, heading back home without a victory as part of their trip to the West despite largely controlling both matches.
Western Australia fly to Queensland later in the week ahead of a Shield match against the Bulls at the Gabba, followed by back to back interstate Marsh Cup games against Queensland and New South Wales.
IMAGE: Fox Sports.