South Australia’s worrying Sheffield Shield record across recent seasons now includes a loss by an innings and 28 runs after the Redbacks were demolished by Western Australia at the WACA.
Three second-innings ducks amid an onslaught from the home side’s bowlers were part of the carnage as SA was dismissed for 117 runs, after injured Jordan Buckingham was unable to bat, still 28 behind WA’s huge first innings total of 444.
The result was SA’s ninth loss in its past 21 games dating back to the 2019/20 season, a stretch of matches that includes just a single win.
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That lone victory, which came in the final game of last season, came after a winless 2020/21 season.
The Redbacks have finished last on the table in four of five seasons since making the Shield final in 2016/17, a period during which they have won just five of 46 red-ball matches.
Only opener Henry Hunt, who remains on the national selection radar and will play for the Prime Minster’s XI against the West Indies in Canberra, and new recruit Ben Manenti fired in WA.
Hunt has 273 runs across the opening four games, while off-spinner Manenti has been a revelation having snared 11 wickets, including a five-for in WA, as well as averaging 50 with the bat.
Wes Agar, last year’s winner of the Sir Donald Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award, has also stood up, taking 15 wickets.
The Redbacks were on the back foot after WA openers Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman put on a 308-run partnership, both making centuries, to zoom past SA’s opening effort of 299.
Then fast bowler Matt Kelly, who took five first innings wickets, added another four in the second to give him match figures of 9-57 as the defending Shield champions romped to victory.
In Hobart, lightning fast Tasmanian quick Riley Meredith did his best to breathe life in to their clash with NSW before his batting teammate Tim Ward went on a Big Bash tyle run scoring blitz which could help produce a result from nowhere in their rain interrupted clash.
There was no play at all on Sunday and interruptions on Monday as Meredith, who took 5-96 is his opening Shield game of the season against Queensland, took two wickets in two balls to rock the NSW middle-order.
While he wasn’t able to snare a hattrick, the 26-year-old speedster did strike again to break up a bold 81-run partnership between Jason Sangha and Sean Abbott, before he leaves to join the Australian one-day squad as an injury replacement for Glenn Maxwell.
Abbott made his second half-century of the season and when he was out for 53 NSW declared, still 117 runs behind, looking to take advantage of the bowler friendly conditions and put Tasmania under pressure.
But the locals took the offer up and opener Ward smashed a 32-ball 50 including 20 off one over from Ben Dwarshius as the lead passed 200.
Tassie was playing Big Bash, reaching 100 in just the 12th over as Ward bashed 14 boundaries to reach an unbeaten 90, off just 71 balls, at stumps, his team in front by 293 and well in charge of the game at 2-176 with one day to play.