Beginning with the continued compilation of runs and ending with a handful of valuable wickets, day two belonged to South Australia from start to finish. NSW will begin day three 305 runs behind with six wickets in the shed as the Redbacks attempt to tighten the screw even further in the hunt for an outright victory.
A grand opening
Despite the early loss of Harry Nielsen, the Redbacks produced another sparkling session of cricket beneath the steadily-rising Adelaide sun. By the time lunch was called, South Australia had added 140 runs, Alex Carey had celebrated a classy century and Jake Lehmann had personally smashed 70 runs from just 80 deliveries.
Carey, after falling heartbreakingly short of a century in the Marsh One Day Cup just three days ago, crunched a glorious boundary through the covers to reach the milestone today, the fifth triple-figure score in his first-class career and first at Adelaide Oval. At the other end, Lehmann played his role to perfection, adding runs at a blistering pace to solidify the Redbacks’ strong position in the contest. Veteran paceman Chadd Sayers also chipped in with a vital cameo, finishing unbeaten on 52 from 63 balls.
Nathan Lyon was again the pick of the NSW bowlers, finishing with five wickets by the time the Redbacks declaration came with 482 runs on the board. The leading wicket-taker in this season’s Marsh Sheffield Shield, the five-wicket haul is Lyon’s 22nd in first-class cricket.
Worrall gets Warner
NSW began their first innings a mountain of runs behind South Australia, but with David Warner at the top of the order, the thought of the visitors chasing it down in quick time was not a far-fetched one. The Australian opener looked to be setting himself for a vintage performance from the outset, cracking Sayers for a boundary off just the second delivery of the innings.Racing to 24 from 33 balls with four boundaries, Warner’s aggressive mood began to send a ripple of anticipation around those in attendance. Was the showman setting the stage for a fireworks display?
The 46th delivery of the innings, bowled by Daniel Worrall, put a stop to the show in one of the most important moments of the day’s play, and possibly the entire fixture. Worrall found the bat of Warner, who was attempting to leave a ball that darted back into his body, and Alex Carey did the work behind the stumps to see Warner on his way back to the pavilion.
The wicket instantly changed the momentum of the innings, evidenced by the fact that NSW had 29 runs on the board mid-way through the eighth over but did not bring up their 50 until the nineteenth.
Playing in just his sixth first-class game, David Grant showed more signs that he could be a regular feature of the Redbacks line-up for years to come thanks to a brilliant performance in the final session of the day’s play. After almost bowling South Australia to victory with four wickets in the second dig against Western Australia last week, Grant troubled the Blues batsmen today, claiming two wickets and beating the bat with regularity.
When Chadd Sayers took the wicket of Nick Larkin, the in-form Moises Henriques strode onto Adelaide Oval with the task of dragging NSW back into the contest. Sensing a chance for his young quick to get into the game, Travis Head threw the ball to Grant, and the 23-year-old didn’t let his skipper down. Not content with the huge wicket of Henriques, a man with three centuries to his name this season, Grant then found Daniel Solway’s edge to have the Redbacks well and truly on top.
07 March 2021