The New South Wales Blues have regained some momentum late on day one of its round six Sheffield Shield match against the Western Australia Warriors after a tough time with the bat.
The visitors were bowled out for 204 on the first day at the WACA Ground, but reduced the Warriors to 2-17 at stumps, as Trent Copeland (2-15) got the Dukes ball to talk on a pitch that assisted the seamers.
Will Bosisto (0) and nightwatchman Matt Kelly (1) were the two wickets to fall for Western Australia.
It was a proud day for Blues rookie Mickey Edwards, as he was named to make his First Class debut against the Warriors. It was also the first match of the season for Blues’ pacemen Charlie Stobo and Gurinder Sandhu.
Edwards joined Western Australian quick Alex Bevilaqua as one of two players to make their Sheffield Shield debuts in the fixture.
However, it was Australian all-rounder and Western Australian captain Mitch Marsh who turned the tide mid-way through day one.
He claimed the first four scalps of the NSW innings (4-50), just when it looked as though the Blues would build a competitive total.
Blues’ captain Peter Nevill won the toss and elected to bat at the WACA with the Blues’ openers starting in solid fashion. The left and right-handed combination of Daniel Hughes and Nick Larkin put on 40 runs for the first wicket before Larkin fell for 13 to some excellent bowling from Marsh. He was caught by Ashton Turner at second slip.
Hughes was then joined by Kurtis Patterson at the crease, as NSW continued to graft at just over two runs per over, which was maintained throughout the day.
Together the pair added a further 49 runs and appeared to lay the foundation for a sizeable first innings total.
Although, the dismissal of Hughes, one short of his half century, sparked a mini-collapse, as Marsh found his groove with the ball.
Brimming with confidence after a successful recall to the Australian Test side during the most recent Ashes series, the Warriors captain was the wicket-taking weapon the hosts needed.
After Hughes (49) was caught in the slips off the bowling of Marsh with the score on 89, the home skipper then took the key wickets of Moises Henriques (5) and Patterson (24) respectively in the space of three deliveries.
A fight back by Ed Cowan and Peter Nevill improved the situation to move NSW past 150, but a spectacular catch by Western Australian wicketkeeper, Josh Inglis, brought an end to the very patient innings by the Blues skipper and gave Simon Mackin his first wicket (1-42).
Nevill scored 16 from 74 deliveries and his dismissal left the visitors in the precarious position of 5-157.
Matters were made worse when Cowan (46), who looked comfortable in the middle, became the second Blues’ batsman to fall just short of a half-century.
Matt Kelly (2-34) added to his wicket tally courtesy of a fantastic one-handed reflex catch in his follow-through to dismiss Trent Copeland (11).
The wickets kept tumbling late in the day for the Blues to bring their first innings to a close. Bevilaqua (1-21) picked up his maiden First Class wicket in the latter stages of the innings with the removal of Stobo (2).