NSW v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, Sydney, 1st day November 3, 2009

Robinson and Ronchi give NSW the blues

Cricinfo staff

Western Australia 5 for 371 (Robinson 141, Ronchi 79*, Smith 3-115) v New South Wales

Wes Robinson struck his second first-class century and Luke Ronchi returned to batting form as Western Australia piled up an imposing score on the first day against New South Wales. The Warriors reached 5 for 371 at the close with Ronchi unbeaten on 79 from 78 deliveries and Theo Doropoulos on 47.

It was an extremely promising day for the visitors after their captain Marcus North chose to bat at the SCG, where the Blues had included two spinners on a pitch they expected to turn later in the game. The legspinner Steven Smith picked up 3 for 115 but the runs came freely and Robinson provided the impetus at the top of the order.

Robinson has enjoyed a productive few weeks, having passed fifty in his three most recent Sheffield Shield or FR Cup innings before this match. He equalled his career best of 141 in his ninth first-class appearance and reached triple figures from 178 deliveries with two consecutive fours off Smith.

Smith eventually bowled Robinson, having already accounted for Marcus Stoinis and North, but there were more runs to come from Ronchi and Doropoulos. They put on an unbroken stand of 124 for the sixth wicket as the New South Wales attack struggled to plug the leaks.

The form of Ronchi was particularly encouraging for the Warriors after he lost his place in the state line-up late last summer due to a severe batting slump. An in-form Ronchi could again challenge the growing list of contenders to be the national side's backup gloveman behind Brad Haddin, who took one catch on his first day of first-class cricket since having surgery on his finger.