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Head shows timely form in Test audition but Richardson takes the honours

Travis Head plays off the back foot Getty Images

Western Australia 1 for 15 trail South Australia 251 (Head 87, Winter 53*, Richardson 5-47) by 236 runs

South Australia captain Travis Head did his first Test chances no harm with a well-compiled 87 on a fluctuating opening day of the Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia at Adelaide Oval.

The Warriors caused a shock at the toss opting to bowl first on what appeared to be a good batting surface having picked four specialist quicks.

The decision looked vindicated when the Redbacks slumped to 2 for 13. Jhye Richardson made the early breakthrough having Jake Weatherald caught at slip with an excellent late away swinger before Callum Ferguson was bowled not offering a shot to a gem from Matt Kelly.

But Head and Conor McInerney put together a 123-run stand in quick time and made the pitch look placid in the process. Both men reached their half-centuries and looked set for big scores before McInerney dragged an attempted pull shot onto his stumps from Richardson then Head was then adjudged lbw to Cameron Green, despite the ball appearing to pitch outside leg stump.

That triggered a collapse with the Redbacks losing 6 for 36. Nick Winter and Daniel Worrell mounted a revival adding 69 for the ninth wicket. Winter made his maiden first-class half-century and finished unbeaten on 53. Richardson picked up the last two wickets to claim a maiden five-wicket haul in Shield cricket.

WA's reply started poorly with a new makeshift opening combination. Josh Philippe fell to Worrall in the first over before Hilton Cartwright, opening for one of the rare times in his first-class career, and Shaun Marsh survived the remaining seven overs to stumps.