South Australia v New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, Adelaide October 17, 2011

Redbacks sturdy despite Katich strikes

South Australia 4 for 309 (Harris 89, Klinger 83) v New South Wales

South Australia's batsmen made a firm start to their opening Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales, though it might have been better than a stumps score of 4 for 309.

The Redbacks began soundly on a dry surface after winning the toss, Daniel Harris adding 164 with the captain Michael Klinger in good time before they were separated by the left-arm wrist spin of Simon Katich.

The rest of the day was a more balanced affair, as NSW took regular wickets to prevent the formation of another major partnership, preventing the strokemakers Callum Ferguson and Tom Cooper from exploiting the strong start they were given.

Lacking the spin of Beau Casson due to the unfortunate return of a heart condition, the visitors bowled with some precision despite the lack of help from the surface. Casson's absence was sadder still in the prevailing conditions, for Katich extracted turn from the pitch that will interest the Australian off spinner Nathan Lyon, playing his first Shield game for SA since a successful Test debut in Sri Lanka.

Another recent Test debutant, Trent Copeland, did not claim a wicket but was his usual stingy self, moving the ball a little in each direction. Mitchell Starc and Moises Henriques also bowled the odd decent spell, while Sean Abbott claimed first-class victim No. 1 when Klinger fenced to slip.

Klinger had been the more reserved of SA's batsmen in the morning session, absorbing the force of the new ball while Harris played his shots. As befits one of the more capable Twenty20 openers in the country, Harris drove, cut and pinged the ball crisply off his pads to take SA to 0 for 90 at lunch.

The serene progress was maintained until the 51st over. Harris had reached the outskirts of a century but Katich turned a ball back to strike the opener marginally in line with the off stump and win an lbw verdict. Katich celebrated with vigour, but there was better to come when Ferguson, lately a curious omission from national squads, pushed firmly at a delivery angled across him and was pouched at slip by Copeland.

Cooper was quickly into his stride, driving sweetly either side of tea, but Klinger's occupation was ended by Abbott, and soon after Cooper tried to force through the offside and was held in the slips by the ever-involved Katich, who had also caught Klinger.

Aiden Blizzard and Daniel Christian played with greater circumspection but the odd attractive stroke to keep SA in a healthy position at the close.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo