Sheffield Shield, Cricket Australia, scores: Steve Smith bats at SCG as Redbacks set South Australia record
At times it seemed that Steve Smith was more intent on occupying the crease than scoring runs as NSW ground down Western Australia on the opening day of their Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.
Smith kept most of his usual free-scoring shot-making hidden away in a chanceless 59 not out off 217 balls, helping the all-star Blues to 2-221 off 96 overs on Monday on a lifeless pitch.
Smith’s raw numbers were remarkable. He made just three runs off his first 47 balls faced, going more than half-an-hour without scoring at one stage.
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The Test superstar scored only 24 during the 32-over middle session, and took 135 deliveries to hit a four, although he had curiously already struck two sixes.
With NSW winning the toss, it meant another day of rest for their all- international bowling attack before next week’s First Test against Pakistan in Brisbane.
It was NSW’s least-experienced player who had the most success, opener Daniel Solway top-scoring with 65 to follow up last week’s century on debut.
Without usual fast bowling spearhead Jhye Richardson, WA had few answers with the ball, barely raising an appeal all day. Solway and Daniel Hughes put on 73 for the first wicket with the latter scoring 53 off 99 balls.
The pair went through the session without offering a chance until Marcus Stoinis (1-34) had Hughes caught behind off the second last ball of the morning.
Solway, playing in place of David Warner who is absent for family reasons, has a century and a half-century from his first three Shield innings. Legspinner Liam O’Connor (1-34) had the opener caught in the covers during the final session.
Moises Henriques picked up the pace in trademark fashion during the final hour to end unbeaten on 43 off 66 balls.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA CRUSHES 52-YEAR-OLD RECORD
South Australia’s Jake Weatherald and Henry Hunt have posted big centuries and rewritten the record books to leave the Redbacks in control after the opening day of their Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at Adelaide Oval.
The winless South Australia piled on the runs to end Monday’s play at an imposing 1-359 after winning the toss.
Weatherald finished unbeaten on a career-best 195, while Hunt scored his maiden first-class ton before being dismissed in the final hour for 132. The openers put on a mammoth 293 runs, eclipsing the long-standing first-wicket wicket record for South Australia of 281, set 52 years ago by Les Favell and John Causby.
The Redbacks lined up without senior players, Travis Head and Alex Carey, both on Australia A duty in the three-day match against Pakistan in Perth. Minus Riley Meredith, also playing for Australia A, Tasmania had few answers, with medium-pacer Lawrence Neil-Smith (1-74) the only bowler to break through. The medium-pacer had Hunt caught at the wicket after skying a pull shot, but only after the rookie had posted his maiden ton off 211 balls in just his fourth match.
Weatherald ended the day just shy of his maiden first-class double century, having reached the boundary 29 times in a 275-ball knock.
Callum Ferguson is the other not out batsman on 20.
Originally published as Smith hits curiously slow innings, Redbacks smash 52-year-old record