Western Australia v South Australia, Sheffield Shield 2015-16, Perth, 4th day March 8, 2016

Head leads South Australia to close victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Australia 230 and 9 for 275 (Head 134, Mennie 49*, Paris 5-87) beat Western Australia 311 and 192 by one wicket

File photo - Travis Head's 134 set South Australia on the path to victory © Getty Images

A century from captain Travis Head and then a gutsy batting effort from an injured Nick Benton earned South Australia a tense one-wicket victory over Western Australia on the final day of their Sheffield Shield clash in Perth. Set 274 to win, South Australia began the final day at 5 for 135 and Joel Paris did his best to stymie their hopes with a five-wicket haul.

However, Head's 134 set South Australia firmly on the path to success, although when he was caught off the bowling of Hilton Cartwright South Australia still needed 24 runs with only three wickets in hand. Joe Mennie, who had been part of a crucial 76-run stand with Head, lost two partners cheaply and Benton strode to the crease as the last man in with seven runs needed.

Benton had suffered a dislocated shoulder earlier in the match but fought off the pain to edge the winning runs through slips. Mennie finished unbeaten on 49 from 40 balls.

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  • Terry on March 9, 2016, 10:52 GMT

    I presume WA were trying to fit an extra batsman or bowler in by giving Bancroft the gloves but just think that is asking too much of him. He needs to concentrate on his batting as he is very much just an emergency keeper if the regular is injured during a match. Hopefully Sam Whiteman is fit (although they may want to rest his injured finger given its a dead game at the Gabba) but it seems the perfect opportunity to give a young specialist keeper a match without too much pressure.

  • Craig on March 9, 2016, 1:18 GMT

    BTBA. Just think of it. Bancroft is likely to be Australia's next test opener. So it is improbable he will be a keeper as well as most test keepers bat at seven. Besides he is not a test class gloveman like Sam Whiteman. So the Warriors should look at a specialist young keeper to replace Whiteman.

  • Craig on March 9, 2016, 1:14 GMT

    A very mature innings. Remember Head is only 22 and, as I understand it, is the Redback's youngest ever captain. A very mature innings. Has taken a big step this year finally converting fifty into a century, not once but twice.

  • Terry on March 8, 2016, 11:19 GMT

    Agree, big innings from Head and the sort that selectors remember. Disappointing as a WA fan that we couldn't take it to the last game but good to see that promising players are coming through. Need to give Bancroft a chance ....keeping and opening is too much in long form cricket. Give a young keeper the last game if Whiteman is still injured. Paris is coming on well and would like to see him play some cricket in England if he can find a county for some experience. Good luck to the states still in the mix and hopefully CA realise how crucial it is to keep the Sheffield Shield final.

  • xxxxx on March 8, 2016, 10:23 GMT

    Match-winning innings, temperament and leadership from Head that is remembered by selectors and in time will get him selected for Aus.

  • Mustansir on March 8, 2016, 8:04 GMT

    Head is young and exciting prospect having cool head on young shoulders he just needs to add consistency in his game to go one level up. while paris is looking special talent. great to see so much young talent coming through.

  •   Jono Makim on March 8, 2016, 7:32 GMT

    Good on Travis Head, he surely needed an innings like that before the season was finished. Nothings wrong with the pace of Paris, he has had a great first season of First Class cricket and will only get better, shame he isn't in the T20I squad.

  • Graham on March 8, 2016, 7:01 GMT

    Im suprised that Paris is only bowling 135kph. Watched him a few times on these feeds and he looks quicker than that. For mine looks to be an outstanding future prospect seems to make the batsman more uncomfortable than any other bowlers in the shield. Outstanding from Head been a big fan for a long time but he needs to start delivering on a more regular basis. He has now had two fourth innings tons seems to be better the more the occasion gets bigger now time to add those runs when batting is easier.

  • Bob on March 8, 2016, 6:26 GMT

    I agree with your comments about Paris, Keepcalm etc. What I have noticed is that even without express pace, he makes the batsmen uncomfortable, as the likes of Ed Cowan would attest. A good example was Cosgrove in the second innings. Though Cossie is generally a reasonable player of short pitched bowling, he was made to look ugly, on the back foot fending the ball to the keeper. With and extra few kph, Paris would only get more difficult to face. What a prospect is Head. Very mature for his age, and he plays shots all around the wicket and off the front and back foot.

  • Olivier on March 8, 2016, 4:52 GMT

    Good job by Head on a pitch with a little help in it and Mennie if he continues this sort of form with ball along with his somewhat handy batting next season he will be tough to ignore for the Australian selectors. Hopefully Paris can get a little more pace to his bowling too as consistent 135 is good but if he can be consistent 140-145 with the movement he gets naturally, he could be a really good bowler.

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