tasmania 281 for 6 (Silk 99*, Webster 64, Wade 51, Rocchioli 3-94) vs Western Australia
The WACA pitch was significantly flatter than the dull deck used in WA’s big season-opening win over Victoria.
It looked like Silk would be fine to win the toss, but Tasmania got off to a poor start when Jewell edged a good length ball from Morris to second slip for a golden duck.
David Warner is set to retire from Test cricket during the summer, so Jewell is considered a contender to replace him, but he is probably behind Marcus Harris, Matthew Renshaw and Cameron Bancroft.
The left-handed Jewell scored 87 and a duck in Tasmania’s seven-wicket win over South Australia last week.
It was a brilliant comeback for Morris, who had not played against Victoria, taking charge after being ruled out of the Ashes with a stress-related back injury.
In his opening four overs, Morris returned to short-pitched bowling only occasionally and concentrated on good line and length with the slip cordon packed.
Morris, who impressed in the Marsh Cup, has not played a first-class match since March, but he has consistently bowled at 140kmph – significantly faster than his fellow fast bowlers.
He returned with the second new ball and had Webster caught behind on a short-pitched ball amidst a sharp burst.
Morris bowled short spells throughout the day’s play and took 2 wickets for 45 runs in 16 overs.
“He’s working really hard to play some cricket, he’s been slow to recover from a back injury,” WA coach Adam Voges said. “He bowled well in patches today, his ball speed was good most of the time. He will be much better for hit-outs.”
After scoring a century against South Australia, Wakim was in great form and hit several attractive drives for 29 before dismissing all-rounder Aaron Hardie, who had opened the bowling after a brilliant performance against Victoria.
WA relied heavily on the ever-improving Roccioli, who came into the attack in the 10th over and bowled long spells in the heat. He put in a tireless performance by dismissing Brad Hope in the last over of the day’s play.
Rocchioli took 3 for 94 from 25 overs and was perhaps WA’s leading bowler on the second day, as the temperature reached 36 degrees Celsius.
Tasmania will be eyeing a strong score in the first innings, which looked unlikely on the first day.
Silk and Wade struggled until lunch and then regained control as the pitch flattened and WA’s fast bowlers began to tire. Wade played several trademark muscular strokes as he brought up his half-century off 69 balls.
Out of nowhere, Rocchioli, developing a habit of taking important wickets, removed Wade, who missed a sweep at short fine leg. But Silk then combined well with Webster, who played aggressively until Morris succumbed as shadows began to creep across the field.
Former Test batting all-rounder Hilton Cartwright has returned for WA after recovering from a knee injury, but will not bowl in the match.
Morris replaced injured fast Cameron Gannon, while left-armer Liam Haskett retained his place after an excellent Shield debut but failed to take any wickets on the first day.
Tristan Lavalette is a Perth-based journalist