Western Australia have lost two Sheffield Shield matches to Tasmania in a month after Sam Whiteman’s attempt to conjure a win in Hobart was thwarted by opposite number Jordan Silk.
Saying that the target of 315 in 85 overs “wasn’t outrageous” after Whiteman declared at 7-226 in the morning session on Wednesday, Silk hammered 83 not out to lead his team to 6-318 and their second win of the season.
“It was a tick under four (runs) an over,” Silk said after the four-wicket win was achieved with seven overs to spare.
“We knew the wicket was still pretty good.
“I’ve got to pay full credit to Sammy Whiteman for setting up a game when they’ve won two games and they may not have needed to set one up.”
WA remain at the head of the shield ladder but have not met NSW or Victoria who have played each other three times during the sporadic start to the season.
Jhye Richardson maintained his splendid form with 3-56 to press his case for a Test comeback against England at the Gabba next month.
He has 23 wickets at 13.43 this year after a dislocated shoulder forced him to miss the past two first-class seasons.
But Richardson’s threat was not matched by the rest of the WA attack that was left one bowler short when Lance Morris broke down with a side strain.
The injury to what is commonly referred to as a fast bowler’s “grunt muscle” was assessed as a low-grade strain but will keep Morris out of action for nearly a month.
It was only the third time that WA have twice lost to Tasmania in a season and the second time in more than a decade that the team was defeated after scoring more than 400 in an innings.
D’Arcy Short’s breezy 30 helped WA put on 56 in the first hour but there were early signs that claiming 10 Tasmania wickets would be a difficult challenge.
Scoring at the rollicking rate of five runs an over in the first hour of the chase, openers Caleb Jewell (60) and Tim Ward (42) completed their second century opening stand of the match.
It was the first time this century that WA have given up a century start in each innings of a shield match while the ball was 36 overs old before Richardson struck for the first time.
Silk then built on several solid top order contributions with a sparkling surge that included nine boundaries and saw his scoring rate maintained at just under a run a ball.