stump Western Australia 146 for 0 (Whiteman 67*, Bancroft 63*) Trail tasmania 439 (Silk 181, Webster 64, Wade 51, Rocchioli 3-144, Stobo 3-87) by 293 runs
Bancroft will be trying to make the most of the conditions after scoring a brilliant century against a formidable Victoria attack at the WACA earlier this month.
With David Warner set to retire from Test cricket in the summer, the search for his replacement continues and Bancroft has presented a compelling case so far. Bancroft, a nervous player at times, faced some tests early in his innings. Moving across the stumps, Bancroft initially struggled against fast bowler Lawrence Neil-Smith, who targeted his pads.
Bancroft looked stable once the new ball was played and so did Whiteman. Tasmania’s bowlers rarely faced threat in 53 overs, but they will be relieved that conditions will be much cooler on the third day.
Playing at 281 for 6, all eyes were on Silk, who ended the first day on 99 runs. He was stuck on that score for almost 30 minutes of the day’s play, brought back to the crease by fast bowler Liam Haskett and accurate bowling from Aarons. Hardy.
Silk finally completed his century by taking one run on his 22nd ball of the day. After such a cautious start, Tasmania took the lead with Jarrod Freeman and Silk hitting seven consecutive fours.
But WA looked set to wrap up the innings when a fine catch from Lance Morris running backwards dismissed Freeman, who made the most of the calm conditions to score 30 from 14 balls.
WA’s attempt to escape the heat was thwarted by a 77-run partnership for the ninth wicket between Silk and Neill-Smith, who held one end. After lunch, Silk started with a number of brilliant drives to move towards a double century.
Silk’s indefatigable innings ended when he was LBW by fast bowler Charlie Stobo early in the second session, the last wicket to fall in the day’s play.
Morris bowled only three overs on the second day as he tries to recover from the stress-related back injury that ruled him out of the Ashes. At a speed of around 140 kmph, Morris released several bouncers and took an edge down the silk which went past wicketkeeper Josh Philippe.
He took 2 for 55 in 19 overs – solid figures on a pitch that has proved unreliable for the bowlers so far.
Tristan Lavalette is a Perth-based journalist