Western Australia 204 and 201 for 8 (Goodwin 47*, Doggett 4-61, Manenti 3-19) beat South Australia 192 and 212 (Manenti 66, Nielsen 51, Morris 3-44, Stobo 3-51) by two wickets
Chasing 201 for victory on a grassy WACA surface, WA were on the cusp of a second successive defeat at 168 for 8. But Goodwin and Rocchiccioli challenged the Redbacks’ bid to break with a calm, unbroken 33-run stand .
Rocchiccioli made runs to spark jubilation in the stands as WA recovered from a horror trip to Sydney where they suffered heavy defeats to NSW in the Shield and Marsh Cup.
“We discussed at tea that we were going to be positive and get it done today,” said 21-year-old Goodwin, who finished unbeaten on 47 off 72 balls on his return to the team after replacing the injured Ashton Turner.
It was heartbreaking for South Australia, who in their last match had beaten Queensland by three runs in an equally tense finish.
After a dull draw between WA and Tasmania last month, the WACA surface was particularly spicy and only three half-centuries were made in the low-scoring contest.
The Redbacks needed to attack with the new ball, which had caused clusters of wickets earlier in the match. But captain Sam Whiteman and Cameron Bancroft looked unfazed as they attacked the target with a 39-run opening stand.
After receiving medical attention, Wyllie retired injured and an animated Doggett was on a roll with Bancroft’s key wicket for 27. A visibly upset Bancroft trudged away having endured a rare sub-par match, having fallen 20 to a cut rash. shot in the first innings.
Doggett continued his spectacular spell when he trapped Hilton Cartwright behind to leave WA in a shaky position at 58 for 3 at tea. Goodwin and Aaron Hardie decided to fight back after the break and managed 37 runs in no time.
When Manenti had Joel Paris clip his stumps, the Redbacks could feel a famous victory with WA falling to 105 for 6 and still 96 short with Wyllie’s status uncertain.
He was riddled by short deliveries but showed no ill effects and inched closer to WA. Manenti again provided a crucial breakthrough after Wyllie was caught failing to connect on a sweep shot.
WA’s hopes would have sunk at that point but Goodwin and Rocchiccioli, who showed maturity in his 25 off 42 balls, rallied as shadows crept across the ground.
Manenti took the long handle of his counterpart Rocchiccioli and smashed him with two sixes that landed in the rubble amid the redevelopment of the pitch.
Paris shrugged off a groin problem, which forced him to take off at the end of the second day. Injury-plagued Paris dismissed any potential concerns by dismissing McAndrew after going on the attack an hour into the day’s play.
The topsy-turvy contest continued until Rocchiccioli’s winning boundary propelled WA over the line and into the top spot of the standings.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth.