Star allrounder Cameron Green struck a timely half-century to put Western Australia in the box seat of their Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia at the WACA Ground.
In reply to SA’s first-innings total of 128, WA were 4-143 at lunch on day two with Hilton Cartwright on 18 and Josh Philippe battling his way to six off 34 balls.
Green (61 off 94 balls) and Cameron Bancroft (46 off 134 balls) combined for a 101-run stand on a green deck to guide their side to a position of strength, after WA had slumped to 2-17 on Wednesday.
Bancroft was the first to fall on Thursday when he was caught behind off paceman David Grant.
Green looked ominous during a knock that featured seven fours and a six.
But he fell shortly after Bancroft’s dismissal when he skied an attempted pull shot off Grant (2-37).
Green started the domestic season with a classy 106 against South Australia.
But his next five knocks in Shield and one-day cricket have returned scores of two, five, seven, 13 and nine in what marked a rare form slump for the 22-year-old.
His half-century on Thursday was welcome news for both WA and Australia’s national selectors, who view Green as a vital part of the Ashes puzzle.
Redbacks pace bowler Brendan Doggett was forced off the field during his fifth over on Thursday with what appeared to be a side strain.