Stoinis and debutant Neil-Smith share honours after fire stops play


Tasmania 0 for 4 trail Western Australia 337 (Stoinis 61) by 332 runs

Marcus Stoinis responded to his omission from Australia’s T20I squad by top-scoring for Western Australia and Tasmania debutant Lawrence Neil-Smith claimed three wickets on a closely-contested opening day at the WACA that was briefly interrupted by a small fire.

Stoinis’ 61 was the only half-century in Western Australia’s 337 as five other batsmen fell between 30 and 48. Neil-Smith finished with 3 for 81 while Jackson Bird and Riley Meredith also took three wickets apiece before Tasmania’s openers survived five overs to the close.

Western Australia were in some early bother after winning the toss, losing Sam Whiteman and Shaun Marsh cheaply to be 2 for 19. Cameron Bancroft and Mitchell Marsh steadied the innings until Bancroft was caught in the gully short before lunch.

The interval was called a few minutes early in unusual circumstances when there was smoke spotted behind the pavilion. Firefighters were called and the fire, caused by an air conditioning unit, was soon under control although WACA employees were pictured receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.

Mitchell Marsh soon departed on resumption and at 4 for 99 the innings was in the balance. Then came Western Australia’s most dominant period of batting as Stoinis and Josh Philippe added 120 in 23 overs which included a pulled six onto the grass bank by Philippe.

The breakthrough came from 20-year Neil-Smith who claimed his maiden first-class wicket when he removed Philippe shortly before tea and Stoinis followed in the next over from Bird as Tasmania went into the break on a high.

In the evening session Western Australia’s lower provided useful contributions as runs continued to come at a healthy rate. Josh Inglis (42) and Ashton Agar added 51 for the seventh wicket before both fell to Neil-Smith. The home side’s total was boosted by 39 extras which included 14 no-balls, 11 of them from Sam Rainbird.



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