Agar Stars As WA Fights Back
5 November 2016  


For the second day in a row, a spinner has turned this Sheffield Shield game on its head and it was Alcohol.Think Again Western Warrior Ashton Agar.

After NSW tweaker Stephen O'Keefe claimed his first five-wicket haul on day one, Agar went one better to leave WA in a commanding position on Saturday.

At stumps on what is the driest SCG track in recent memory, the Warriors are 0-14 in their second dig to trail NSW by just 68 runs, setting up an intriguing final two days of play.

Cameron Bancroft (6) and Jonathan Wells (8) were unbeaten at the crease.

One day after O'Keefe reaffirmed his status as the nation's No.2 spinner with a five-fer, Agar reminded selectors of his abilities with a career-best 6-110 in a mammoth 36-over effort.

His outing is sure to catch the eye of national selectors, who called the left-armer into an SCG Test squad late in 2014 having played two memorable Tests on debut in the 2013 Ashes tour.

Paceman Jason Behrendorff's 4-83 off 19 overs also played a helping hand for the Warriors, as did two impressive reflex catches from captain Michael Klinger.

However, the day belonged to former Test spinner Agar, who triggered a late-order collapse with the prize wicket of Blues skipper Moises Henriques (41) early in the third session.

Only some carefree swinging from Doug Bollinger (19no) saved some face for the home side, who fell 5-48 in the space of 14 overs and lost a strong chance to bat WA out of the game.

The Blues appeared destined to post a strong first-innings score earlier in the day when Nic Maddinson pocketed the match's first century with a fighting 116.

Starting Saturday on 1-24, the hosts looked shaky when they lost two wickets in the first session and Kurtis Patterson joined a slow-starting Maddinson at the crease.

But the pair got their eye in and dominated the second session, taking a particular liking to the part-time offspin of William Bosisto (0-27 off six) before Patterson fell before tea.

His crucial 60 came just two weeks after a 111 knock in a Shield win against Queensland.

Full scorecard

-AAP