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Daniel Worrall takes his first five-wicket haul as bowlers dominate at the MCG

South Australia is establishing a serious strike force after Daniel Worrall yesterday broke new ground in his breakout Sheffield Shield season.

 

New-ball seamer Worrall, who took career-best match figures of 7/145 in last week’s 302-run thumping of Tasmania, returned to his home state to claim his maiden first-class five-wicket innings haul against Victoria as 16 wickets fell on a bowler-friendly wicket at the MCG.

 

The Redbacks will today start day two of the top-of-the-table clash trailing by 24 runs with four wickets in hand after Worrall (5/69) and fellow frontline bowlers Joe Mennie (3/46) and Chadd Sayers (2/59) ripped through the strong Bushrangers batting line-up.

 

With No. 1 paceman Kane Richardson sidelined by injury, Mennie — the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 20 at 19.9 — got the ball rolling for SA with three of the first four wickets, including the prized scalps of Rob Quiney and Aaron Finch, before Worrall took charge.

The 24-year-old claimed five consecutive wickets, including the key dismissal of hard-hitting Test hopeful Glenn Maxwell for 62, as Victoria — sent into bat by SA captain Travis Head — was bowled out for 180.

In reply, the Redbacks started brightly to motor to 0/65 before losing 6/71 to slump to 6/136. At stumps they were 6/156 with wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman on 16 and leg-spinner Adam Zampa on 11 and in desperate need of a good partnership to seize control of an evenly-placed match.

“The first session is going to be crucial in us trying to set the game up,’’ Worrall said. Worrall savoured his day in the sun, saying his first five-wicket haul in his 13th first-class match had “been a long time coming’’.

“It’s pretty exciting and it was nice to get five wickets against the Victorians, being Victorian-born myself, and playing my first four-day game at the MCG,’’ he said. “It’s great to play my part in a group with Sayers and Mennie who are bowling beautifully and have been for the past four years.

“Mennie was outstanding again and is bowling like a god at the moment. He just can’t seem to put a foot wrong. For me to finally contribute with a five-for was great and hopefully there’s a few more to come.’’

The pitch, which Worrall says has a “tinge’’ of green in it, helped the Redbacks bowlers but hurt their batsmen. After Cosgrove (50) and Tom Cooper (18) had put on 65 for the first wicket emerging Victorian quick Chris Tremain turned the match on its head by claiming three quick wickets.

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