North steers Warriors with hundred
Western Australia 6 for 269 (North 110, Botha 4-71) v South Australia
Last time England were preparing for a Gabba Test, Marcus North was one of the incumbents in the Australia team, but this time around he has had to settle for being one of the most in-form domestic batsmen in the country. On the first day of Western Australia's match against South Australia at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval, North scored his second hundred of the Sheffield Shield season as the Warriors reached 6 for 269 at stumps.
The redevelopment of the ground enticed 6974 spectators through the gates, the most seen on a Sheffield Shield day in Adelaide since day five of the 1995-96 final, and they witnessed a competitive day's play on which the South Australia captain Johan Botha collected 4 for 71. But it was North, relishing his new role as an opener, who really made a statement by reaching 110 and racing to the top of this year's Shield run tally.
The Warriors won the toss and acting captain Shaun Marsh chose to bat, and although they made an encouraging start with a 62-run opening stand, spin caused them problems as the innings wore on. All six wickets that fell on the first day went to the slow bowlers, with the legspinner Adam Zampa contributing two wickets alongside the four picked up by Botha.
Cameron Bancroft (26) and John Rogers (37) helped North push Western Australia to 1 for 156 before the wickets started to fall a little more regularly, and Marsh was unable to push his Test credentials, lbw to Botha for 4. His brother Mitchell Marsh was lbw to Zampa for 2, but at stumps Western Australia had steadied through Ashton Agar, who was unbeaten on 39, and the wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman, who was on 30.