Western Australia 282 for 6 (Whiteman 137*, Bancroft 51, Pope 3-59) beat South Australia 279 for 7 (Drew 84, McSweeney 53, Short 1-27) by four wickets
After a rare mediocre Shield match, Bancroft received a reprieve in the 10th over when Daniel Drew dropped a sitter at first slip off Jordan Buckingham. He looked immovable from there and cruised to his half-century before falling lbw to leg-spinner Lloyd Pope soon after.
Pope then removed Hilton Cartwright, but Whiteman played fluently and reached 99 with a huge six off the famous grass banks before two balls later he got his first List A ton in his 61st match.
He reached the winning boundary with three balls remaining and was supported at the death by big batsman Richardson, who smashed 25 off 16 balls. Richardson, who has played three Tests in an injury-plagued career, earlier scored 1 for 63 from 10 overs in his second match of the season.
“He’s super skilled. He’s been through some frustrating times, so he’s really happy to be able to play,” Whiteman said of Richardson. “He also has some runs and took the pressure off me at the end.”
The winless Redbacks were left shorthanded after quick Harry Conway was unable to bowl due to a back injury suffered while batting.
Two-time defending champions WA reached a 4-1 record as they battle with Victoria at the top of the table.
Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman put up a 96-run stand•fake images
WA decided to bowl and all eyes were on the hapless Richardson, who last month returned against Victoria in the Marsh Cup after a long spell on the sidelines following hamstring surgery. But he suffered another setback after suffering a dislocated shoulder in a second XI match for WA in Adelaide.
Having made a successful return to Perth grade cricket, Richardson made a nervous start opening the bowling against the aggressive Jake Fraser-McGurk, who smashed the world’s fastest List A century last month.
Richardson started with a wide five and his mood deteriorated further in his next over when Fraser-McGurk smashed him for two boundaries and two sixes in a 22-run over.
Richardson was reeling after conceding 30 runs in his first two overs, but Whiteman persisted with him. The gamble appeared to backfire when Fraser-McGurk smashed another boundary before Richardson restored the faith on the next delivery by slicing through his defenses with a well-executed slower ball.
After Fraser-McGurk’s whirlwind 31 off 15 balls, South Australia batted attentively and were pinned in the middle by Connolly’s precise spin. There have been high expectations for 20-year-old all-rounder Connolly, who shot to fame after his heroics in last season’s BBL final.
After impressing in WA’s first two Marsh Cup matches, Connolly’s hopes of making his Sheffield Shield debut were dashed when he suffered a toe injury following a boating accident.
Rushing into his deliveries quickly, Connolly dismissed opener Henry Hunt and finished with 1 for 41 in 10 overs.
Half-centuries from Drew and Nathan McSweeney kept South Australia on course for a score over 300. Drew’s dismissal in the 33rd minute halted his momentum after he fell to left-arm debutant quick Liam Haskett, who had a good performance in three Sheffield Shield matches this season. .
But Scott hit a six off the last ball of the innings and kept the momentum going with the ball before Whiteman took over in his second match as captain of WA’s 50-over team.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth.