Henriques relief as New South Wales break drought by toppling champions

Henriques relief as New South Wales break drought by toppling champions

New south Wales 276 (Davies 129, Henriques 51) and 4 for 0 Western Australia 141 (Hatcher 4-56) and 136 (Bancroft 54, Tremain 5-35) for 10 wickets

New South Wales captain Mois├ęs Henriques admitted there was relief after the team ended their 15-match winless run in the Sheffield Shield with a convincing victory over defending champions Western Australia.

The visitors were bowled out for 136, after making 141 on the opening day, as Ollie Davies played the defining innings of the game with his first first-class century.

New South Wales had seen victory slip away in the opening match of the Shield season when Queensland earned a draw in Cricket Central and then lost to South Australia and Victoria.

They had not won in the competition since beating Tasmania at the SCG in February 2022.

“It’s definitely a big relief,” Henriques said. “If anything, I feel like our preparation during pre-season had been magnificent and I feel like I’ve seen a lot of players grow in confidence. And we weren’t getting the results in the longer format.

“I think it’s really important to get a result to give the guys a little reward for some really positive processes, otherwise the doubt starts to creep in again. Until you start seeing some results, the doubt is always there, so I hope that behind that, a lot of belief and a lot of confidence is generated that they are on the right path because I believe that they are.

“It’s been a great week and we’ve shown with the team’s ability that we can match it and defeat the reigning premiers in both competitions. “We’re not getting carried away, it’s a Shield win…[but] I hope it will be the first of many in the future.”

WA had been reduced to 34 for 6 on the second day but then provided dogged resistance led by Cameron Bancroft, who eventually placed ninth when he edged Liam Hatcher to slide off the wicket for a 160-ball 54.

He had added 66 for the eighth wicket with Charlie Stobo to take WA to the brink of a lead before Stobo defended Hatcher to the gully. The last three wickets fell in two runs, leaving NSW with a target of just two which was achieved before lunch.

“Our players stepped up to another level and bowling a WA team for 140 in both innings was a pretty good result,” Henriques said. “If you take Ollie’s 130 out of our score, it was a very special hit.”

WA coach Adam Voges acknowledged his team had failed to respond to the pressure exerted by the New South Wales attack.

“We were below average probably ten minutes before lunch on the first day when we lost those two [of wickets]” he said. “We were outplayed by New South Wales, they were very good and we were out. The result reflects it.

“We were put under pressure… this is probably the first time our middle order has been exposed a little bit before and unfortunately we couldn’t handle that challenge this week.”

Voges was hopeful that Aaron Hardie, who missed this match with a minor quadriceps strain, would be available to face South Australia in the WACA next week.