The first win of the day went to the Redbacks when the spinning coin fell in their favour, allowing Head to inform the opposing skipper Peter Nevill that the visitors would be spending the day in the field. The Redbacks new-look line-up then took to the Adelaide Oval surface, keeping the scoreboard attendants in regular work throughout the day’s play.
South Australia never let NSW get on a roll, batting well in partnerships to put on 298 runs for the loss of just four wickets at the calling of stumps. The Redbacks put on 32 for the first wicket, 40 for the second, 44 for the third and 86 for the fourth before Carey and Harry Nielsen compiled an unbeaten 96 together to end the day’s play.
The first talking point of the day developed 45 minutes before the opening delivery when team sheets were exchanged at the toss. At the bottom of the Redback’s eleven was confirmation of what many suspected, a new name was to be inked into the pages of South Australian cricket history. Following strong performances in both Premier Cricket and with the Redbacks Second XI, left-arm wrist spinner Joe Medew-Ewen was to make his maiden appearance on the domestic stage.
Medew-Ewen was presented with a crisp baggy red cap by South Australian cricketing royalty, Redbacks Head Coach Jason Gillespie, while his new teammates and an extremely proud father watched on. The result of the toss gave the youngster a chance to settle the nerves from the dressing rooms on day one, and he would have been delighted to see some of the turn and bounce that veteran NSW and Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon found in the surface.
Back on top
Returning to Shield cricket after missing the Redback’s last three four-day fixtures, Jake Weatherald seamlessly slotted back into the opening role, making 66 runs against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. The silky-skilled left-hander warmed up for the clash by scoring a double-century last week while captaining the Redbacks Second XI, and while he will be disappointed his innings ended where it did, the signs were all positive for Weatherald today.
Leading from the middle
With both selected for the since-postponed tour of South Africa, Travis Head and Alex Carey have been in brilliant form of late and when they came together with the scoreboard showing 3/116, the Redbacks needed their leaders to stand firm. The two left-handers, batting at four and five, challenged NSW’s star-studded line-up, looking to stay aggressive in the face of consistent quality bowling.
Head entered the contest as the competition’s leading run-scorer this season and he would add another 64 to his tally before Lyon trapped him on the crease in front of his stumps. Together, Head and Carey steadied the ship for the home side, adding 86 runs in partnership at a crucial time to ensure the Redbacks would post a strong first innings total.
Alex Carey was resolute all day, mixing exciting stroke play with an impenetrable defence to head into the sheds unbeaten at stumps with 86 runs to his name. Harry Nielsen also continued his strong summer and he will joining his vice-captain at the crease tomorrow morning with 49 runs of his own in the bank.
Lyon marches on
The most prolific off-spinner Australia has ever produced, Nathan Lyon was the pick of the NSW bowlers on day one, taking the key wickets of Henry Hunt, Jake Weatherald and Travis Head. Extracting plenty of turn and bounce, Lyon looked dangerous every time he rolled the arm over, with his three wickets making him the highest wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield this season. The evergreen spinner bowled 33 overs in the day’s play, almost double any other bowler, and NSW are sure to look to him on day two to continue his wicket taking ways.
06 March 2021