Debutant New South Wales spinner Chris Green had a dream introduction to Sheffield Shield cricket, bagging four wickets in a stand-out performance against top of the table Western Australia at the SCG. Despite a promising start, the undefeated visitors limped to 233 all out at stumps on day one, giving their winless hosts hope of a famous upset. Openers Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman had looked comfortable after winning the toss and batting, steering the visitors to 0 for 91 at lunch before the hosts fought back. Green, who has appeared in T20 competitions around the world but never in first-class cricket, tore through Western Australia's top order, bagging three wickets in a riveting post-lunch spell.
The 29-year-old's maiden Shield scalp was well worth the wait, finding WA captain Whiteman's outside edge with a ripping offbreak just after lunch. He did not have to wait long for his second. In his next over, leg slip Jason Sangha atoned for dropping Bancroft off Green's bowling before lunch, dismissing the same batter with a flying one-handed catch to his left. Green and wicketkeeper Baxter Holt then teamed up to dismiss Hilton Cartwright for two during an ill-advised excursion outside his crease.
Young guns Teague Wyllie and Sam Fanning steadied the ship for WA after Green's three-wicket spell, putting on 50 runs before Wyllie fell lbw to Chris Tremain on 15. After the tea break, Holt once again displayed handy glovework off Green's bowling, stumping Josh Philippe for 4. Fellow rookie spinner Toby Gray also picked up his first Shield wickets, bowling top scorer Fanning on 61 before picking up tailenders Charlie Stobo and David Moody to wrap up the innings. NSW quick Mickey Edwards found less joy despite significant effort, picking up 0 for 36 off 19 overs in his first match back in Shield cricket since October 2018 after years of injuries.
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-INP