'Nice to blow the cobwebs out', says Lance Morris after fired-up show on day one of Shield final

His 2 for 52 set the tone for Western Australia reducing Victoria to 194 for 8 on the opening day of the finale

Lance Morris' pace almost conjured a remarkable victory, Queensland vs Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, Gabba, December 4, 2022

File photo: Lance Morris' pace proved troublesome for Victoria  •  Getty Images

After almost two months on the sidelines, having been overlooked during Australia's Test tour of India, speedster Lance Morris sparked a sedate opening day of the Sheffield Shield final between Western Australia and Victoria with trademark fiery quick bowling.
Introduced in the eighth over, a fired-up Morris started with a nasty bouncer aimed at the body of dogged opener Ashley Chandrasinghe who wisely swayed out of the way.
Even though the renowned pace-friendly WACA surface, which has been a minefield for most of this season, was somewhat subdued, Morris made his presence felt with sharp bowling that appeared too hot to handle for 21-year-old Chandrasinghe.
He then engaged in a riveting battle with former Test opener Marcus Harris, who relishes the big stage having hit three tons in four previous finals. Morris dismissed Harris in his second over caught at second slip only to have overstepped before snaring him lbw two balls later.
Used in short bursts, bowling from the Lillee-Marsh end with the aid of the famed 'Freo doctor' seabreeze, Morris finished with 2 for 52 from 18 overs.
He also claimed wicketkeeper-batter Sam Harper later in the day to cap a successful return in his first match since the BBL in late January.
Morris' last red-ball game was against Queensland at the Gabba in early December before his elevation into Australia's Test squad against West Indies for the second Test in Adelaide.
"Certainly felt like it's been two months, that's for sure. A little bit of rust. Nice to blow the cobwebs out," Morris said after the day's play with Victoria reaching stumps at 8 for 194 in their first innings.
Morris was locked in an absorbing battle with a gutsy Chandrasinghe, who repeatedly stonewalled in a 266-ball innings to bat through the day and finish 46 not out.
He bowled one thunderous delivery that went over Chandrasinghe's head though was left frustrated when he had the left-handed batter caught behind just before tea but it was ruled a no ball.
Morris finished with six front no balls due in some part to technical changes to his run-up.
"I've been working on technical stuff with run-ups... thrown me off. [I need to] find a way around it, will look to do that tomorrow," Morris said. "It could have been a better day, but overall we shot ourselves in the foot...probably on my part."
Even though he has yet to crack a Test debut, Morris has soaked in a wealth of knowledge being around Australia's stock of star-studded quicks.
"Leading into the summer, never thought I would be near that [Test] level," he said. "To be able to get knowledge off them and just watch them go about their a huge learning experience."
Morris has been bandied around as a possible Mumbai Indians replacement for injured WA teammate Jhye Richardson. While hosing down those reports, Morris did say that he was eyeing a County deal in the U.K. ahead of Australia's Ashes tour.
That's all down the track as Morris ,right now, remains focused on helping WA secure a historic treble of domestic titles for the second straight season.
"[The wicket's a] touch slow. If we can bowl them out for around 200, I think we'll be pretty happy," he said.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth