Carey sends a message but Redbacks beaten, Marnus misses chance to shine

Alex Carey has given national selectors a timely reminder of his credentials but it wasn’t enough to stop Victoria defeating South Australia by 23 runs in their Sheffield Shield match

The Vics came into day four on top but a late cameo from swashbuckling quick Wes Agar (46) made them nervous with only one wicket left to take.

But just as Agar was well and truly hitting his stride, Mitch Perry’s yorker dispatched him and Victoria sealed victory at Adelaide Oval.

Earlier, Test wicketkeeper Carey rejuvenated the Redbacks in his first match since being dropped from the ODI side for Australia’s second World Cup game.

SA lost two wickets inside an hour on day four, slumping to 5-93 in pursuit of 258 runs, before Carey forged the first steady partnership of the innings with Liam Scott.

Carey brought up his half-century with a single to deep point from the bowling of player-of-the-match Fergus O’Neill, who was again the pick of the Vics with 5-83. 

O’Neill took 10-111 for the match

Carey was dropped on the boundary rope shortly after passing 50, the tough chance instead going for six and proving a sign of things to come as he put his foot on the accelerator.

By the time he was caught trying to hit O’Neill down the ground just before lunch, Carey had slogged 10 boundaries on his way to 81 runs from 116 deliveries.

The solid knock came at the perfect time for Carey, who was playing his only game between being axed for Josh Inglis at the World Cup and the beginning of the Test summer.

The breakthrough wicket of Carey energised Victoria and O’Neill turned the game on its head when he claimed allrounder Ben Manenti (2) in the same over, caught behind by Sam Harper.

Alex Carey of the Redbacks during the Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and Victoria at Adelaide Oval, on December 01, 2023, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

SA went to lunch needing 93 runs with three wickets in hand and only allrounder Scott (32) left of the recognised batters, with the task proving too much despite Agar’s late efforts.

The Shield and Marsh Cup seasons are on break after this weekend until the end of Australia’s Test series with Pakistan and West Indies.

Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne has missed the chance to spend extended time at the crease as the Sheffield Shield clash between Queensland and Western Australia ended in an unavoidable draw.

Both captains shook hands at tea on day four at the Gabba with Queensland at 3-137 in their second innings and holding an overall lead of 81.

The loss of two sessions on the opening day due to rain and then more time lost on Wednesday because of bad light meant a result was never likely.

WA posted 330 in their only innings in reply to Queensland’s 8(dec)-274.

Only three wickets fell on the final day – Matt Renshaw (six), Labuschagne (24 off 78 balls) and Usman Khawaja (22 off 52 balls).

Joe Burns (62no off 175 balls) and Jack Clayton (7no) guided the Bulls safely to tea before the match was declared a draw.

Labuschagne was dismissed for a duck in the first innings, and he was out five minutes before lunch on Friday when he top-edged Charlie Stobo straight to Sam Fanning with a miscued pull shot.

Marnus Labuschagne. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

With the start of the three-Test series against Pakistan less than two weeks away, a long stint in the middle facing the red ball would have been a crucial aid to Labuschagne’s preparations.

Although Khawaja also failed to post a notable score in the second innings, he at least faced 215 balls for his unbeaten 102 in the first dig.

WA speedster Jhye Richardson, playing his first Shield match in a year, followed up his first-innings haul of 4-36 with 1-27 off 11 overs.

Star WA allrounder Cameron Green, who scored 96 with the bat, was miserly with 0-6 from eight overs in Queensland’s second innings.

The draw lifted WA (28.22 points) back into second spot, behind only Tasmania (29.77).

Queensland (15.12) remain last, with just one win and two draws to show from their opening six matches.

“It was disappointing the first day we got the rain. I think this could have been a really good game if we didn’t have that first-day rain,” Bulls captain Khawaja said.

“We missed out that day, and then we missed out on 20-odd overs the next night because of light. It kind of dulled the game.”

Stand-in WA captain Sam Whiteman was pleased with how his team fought out the match.

“It was amazing to see Jhye Richardson back in WA colours,” Whiteman said. 

“He loves playing at the Gabba, and he was super impressive.

“Disappointing not to get the result this week, but happy with three wins out of six to head into the Big Bash break.”

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