Western Australia 6 for 259 (Klinger 129*, Voges 71, Bird 3-51) v Tasmania
Michael Klinger continued his remarkable run of form with a century on the first day of the Sheffield Shield season, outdoing Test contenders Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh, who both failed. Klinger finished the day unbeaten on 129 and had good support from fellow veteran Adam Voges, whose 71 should be enough to ensure his place in Australia’s squad for the first Test against New Zealand, to be named on Friday.
Bancroft and Marsh were both hoping to use the chance to bat first for Western Australia against Tasmania in Hobart to press their Test claims, but neither man survived long enough to impress the selectors. Bancroft was drawn forward by James Faulkner and edged behind for 10, and Marsh was caught at gully for 15 when he cut Jackson Bird straight to Ben Dunk.
Andrew Fekete had already removed opener Marcus Harris lbw for 2, but Tasmania’s hopes of running through the Warriors were scuppered by the old heads of Klinger and Voges. They combined for a 153-run partnership that ended when Voges was caught behind off the bowling of Bird, and Mitchell Marsh followed soon after, lbw to Fekete for 1.
As was the case in the match at the MCG, the second new ball brought an immediate breakthrough, when Bird had Sam Whiteman trapped lbw. But it was the last wicket of the day and at stumps Western Australia had moved on to 6 for 259, with Ashton Agar at the crease on 22, alongside Klinger.
The runs just kept coming for Klinger, whose age – 35 – must be the sole potential barrier to his being called into Australia’s side. Over the past 12 months he has now scored 14 centuries across all formats – first-class, List A and T20 – for Western Australia, Perth Scorchers and Gloucestershire. In that same period, only Kumar Sangakkara and Steven Smith have made more runs across formats.
The colour of the ball seemed to make no difference to Klinger, who struck the pink ball for 16 fours and one six, and had the chance to go on to an even bigger score on the second day.
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