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South Australia maintained their dominance of their ACB Cup match with Western Australia in Perth yesterday and left the home side battling to avoid the follow-on.
The breakthrough for Western Australia came in the 12th over of the day when Shane Deitz was cleverly deceived by Michael Clark who held back on the delivery enough to have the ball played back to him and he held on with delight.
Deitz had spent five hours at the crease amassing 140 runs with 16 fours and a huge six. His defence was impenetrable, the array of his shot selection vast. South Australia working up to an imposing first innings total of 347 with six wickets gone.
Together Deitz and Callum Ferguson put on 179 runs in three hours and 20 minutes to form the backbone of the South Australian first innings.
Clark finally got some reward for his patience and diligence. Looking much better from the River end as opposed to the Canning Road end where he had bowled all throughout the previous day.
John Davison didn't last long at the crease. He became Clark's second victim 14 balls after the fall of Deitz - shaping to play toward off and being struck on the pad and ajudged leg before wicket. South Australia were 7/355.
Ferguson hit a huge six off Karppinen when the bowler delivered the first ball of his fifth over of the day a bit short down the leg-side and Ferguson pulled the ball four metres over the boundary backward of square leg and it almost rolled through the door of the green keeper's hut.
Ferguson struggled a little bit through the nervous 90s but eventually brought up his maiden century at this level of competition after four and a quarter hours at the crease having faced 195 balls and striking the boundary 10 times while going over it once.
Cleary opened the shoulders to the fourth ball of Casson's third over of the day - a long hop - that Cleary dispatched with a forward pull (slog) shot that landed 10 meters over the boundary behind mid wicket.
Having just posted a fifty-run partnership with Ferguson, Mark Cleary looked to be getting on with the job of scoring when he lofted a straight drive off the bowling of Beau Casson straight down the throat of Callum Thorp standing in off the boundary at long-off. The third wicket of the session saw South Australia eight wickets for a total of 409 runs and at that point lunch was taken at which point South Australia declared their innings.
Seventeen-year-old Callum Ferguson remained unbeaten on 108, a much better showing than his pair in grade cricket for Prospect the weekend before.
Neither Thorp (one for 49) nor Michael Thistle (one for 52) were bowled today. Casson (one for 60) and Clark (two for 63) were rewarded at last. Despite spells of fiery quick bowling, Stuart Karppinen (one for 77) and Andrew James (two for 96) were unable to add more scalps.
Craig Simmons and Brett Jones opened the batting for Western Australia. The South Australian attack was led by Mark Harrity from the Canning Road end and Trent Kelly at the River end.
With a half-hearted push at the ball outside off from Kelly, Craig Simmons 13 (20) feathered an edge through to Deitz who took it well down. Western Australia's first wicket fell after 22 minutes had elapsed in the innings and with 19 runs on the scoreboard.
Brett Jones pulled a short ball on the line of leg stump from the third ball of Trent Kelly's sixth over (the first of a new spell) for six that travelled over the boundary behind backward square leg.
Geoff Cullen 13 (38) went to drive at Kelly but instead he edged into the gully where Cosgrove took a safe catch and the second wicket for Western Australia fell with the score on 63 in the 19th over.
The aggressive innings of Brett Jones was tragically ended on 49 (67), when backing up at the non-striker's end. He was out of his crease after a delivery from Harrity was driven by the striker Shaun Marsh, back at the bowler, who deflected the ball with his left foot into the non-striker's stumps. Western Australia had 86 on the board but with three wickets down.
At the tea-break, the score was 97/3 after 30 overs with Shaun Marsh 16 (42) and Adam Voges one (16). Kelly was the only successful bowler of five bowlers used by South Australia.
Cutting Davison toward backward point, Voges six (43) nicked the ball into Deitz's gloves. Western Australia were in trouble at 4/118.
Davison grabbed his second wicket when he had Casson trapped in front and leg before wicket after he had scored only five (29). At 5/121 Western Australia were under serious threat of having to follow on if the wicket of either Marsh or Luke Ronchi (the last of the recognised batsmen) were to be removed.
With trademark aggression, Ronchi set about hitting the ball hither and thither making the bowling look ordinary. Then with the last ball of his first over Jamie Marsh delivered arguably the only poor ball of his over and was delighted to see it hit down the throat of Davison just back of midon. Western Australia had lost all hope with 166 on the board and only four wickets remaining.
With only his second ball faced, the WA captain Karppinen hit Jamie Marsh out of the ground over the long on sending the ball crashing into the second story of the Melville CC pavillion scoring a six - his first scoring shot.
His third, off the 12th ball he faced and the last ball of Marsh's third over disappeared straight back over the bowler's head, over the sight screen and into the pavilion car park, again scoring six behind long on, bringing wows and applause from the small crowd gathered.
With his fourth scoring shot and the 14th ball faced, Karpinnen sent the second ball of Marsh's fourth over into the wall of the players' rooms at the side of the pavilion again scoring six over long on.
Dancing down the pitch in an attempt to put the second ball he faced from Davison into the river behind the bowler, Karppinen missed and was stumped. His entertaining knock contained the three sixes, a two and a single for the total of 21 (17). Western Australia had slumped to 7/189 in the 64th over with stumps looming.
At stumps Western Australia Marsh was unbeaten on 64 (156) and looking very solid. Callum Thorp, newly-arrived, was on two (5). The WA first innings total was 7/202.
For South Australia, Davison was the best of the bowlers with 10 maidens during his 21 overs gathering three wickets for 30 runs. Kelly bowled from both ends taking two wickets for 65 from 15 overs, Mark Harrity, Cleary, Wes Thomas and Marsh all bowled without success.
The tail-end will have to wag for Western Australia to survive the follow-on target of 259. But with a night's rest and a new ball due just 14 overs away, South Australia should easily achieve this mission. The mettle of the Western Warriors youngsters is sure to be tested.