Renaissance Man Marcus North sees Warriors on top with 145

The dazzling renaissance of Marcus North continued today as the Western Warriors marched to 3-315 at stumps on Day 1 of the Bupa Sheffield Shield clash against Victoria at the WACA Ground.

English: Marcus North of Australia in the fiel...

English: Marcus North of Australia in the field against Northamptonshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a crucial performance by WA, with the Warriors chasing their first outright win of the season and presented with a prime opportunity to do achieve that with this home game against Victoria followed by another at the WACA Ground against Queensland next week.

Victoria won the toss and sent WA in to bat and opener North, who entered the game with 444 runs for the season at an average of 111, was industrious as he crafted his way to 145 before falling with half an hour left to play.

The knock took North’s season tally to 589 at the imposing average of 118.

The next best figures for the season ironically come from the opposing captain that sent North to the crease, with Rob Quiney’s 319 at an average of 53.

The stand continued the inspiring turnaround in form from North, who just a year ago was dropped from the state side for the first time in what he labelled as almost a decade.

North started slowly, allowing his young opening partner Cameron Bancroft to take the lead in the run scoring.

The veteran soon took over though and charged to his third ton this Sheffield Shield season, bringing up the hundred in 180 balls and 234 minutes at the crease.

Bancroft was superb in notching his maiden First Class half-ton and was closing in on a century of his own when he brushed a short Jake Haberfield delivery down leg to the waiting Peter Handscomb, falling for 86.

The 21-year-old got away to an aggressive start, before reigning it in and showing patience in a well-built innings and would have felt unlucky in his dismissal after lunch.

The wicket broke a partnership of 208, just 15 runs short of equalling WA’s best first wicket partnership against the Victorians.

Haberfield struck again quickly as John Rogers fell caught-and-bowled for one and WA went from one down to 2-210 in a little more than two overs.

As the threat of collapse loomed, North and captain Adam Voges steadied the ship.

Voges worked his way in and went from three runs from 35 balls, to bringing up his half-ton in 90, with WA well on top at 2-301 in the shadows of stumps.

It was a frustrating partnership for the Bushrangers, after North had been dropped by David Hussey at a wide third slip on 114 earlier in the day.

The Victorians were begging for a breakthrough and got it with the third ball of the 91st over.

North entered the match having made several stands spanning either all or almost all of a day’s play this season, but this day got the better of him as he attempted a cover drive off Haberfield and knicked it through to Handscomb behind the stumps.

It ended a brilliant innings from the former skipper, with his 145 coming off 269 balls, with 21 fours and a six hit off Glenn Maxwell.

Victoria continued to push, but could have been excused had they hung their heads, as every new WA bat that came to the crease looked as dangerous as the one they replaced.

Voges looked to be in intimidating form as he punched and pushed his way to 62 not out by stumps, having knocked 10 fours to the boundary.

Several loud appeals came in the half hour’s play following North’s dismissal, but new batsman Shaun Marsh (two not out) and Voges dug in to see out the day without further loss.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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