Sheffield Shield: Scott Boland dismisses Travis Head and Alex Carey in South Australia vs. Victoria

Sheffield Shield: Scott Boland dismisses Travis Head and Alex Carey in South Australia vs. Victoria


They were all teammates in the Ashes but Scott Boland showed no mercy bowling to Travis Head and Alex Carey on Wednesday.

Scott Boland inflicted his bowling superpowers on Aussie Test teammates Travis Head and Alex Carey on Wednesday in a devastating return to red-ball cricket for the Ashes cult hero.

The South Australians had the contest on their own terms thanks to the batting of Jake Weatherald (122) and Daniel Drew (96 not out), but Boland almost single-handedly kept Victoria in the game heading into day two of the clash at Adelaide Oval.

According to his coach Chris Rogers, Boland was “desperate to play” in Victoria’s first Sheffield Shield match of the year. He certainly bowled like it.

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After sending down an opening maiden, Boland, who bowled first change for Australia in the Ashes and took an astonishing 18 wickets in his first three Tests, returned with fire in his second spell.

Both Boland and Head were playing their first red-ball matches since Australia’s Ashes triumph and the South Australian skipper was just as pumped to be back as his Victorian rival – Head sacrificed his chance to play in the first three T20Is against Sri Lanka to get some red ball practice in before Australia’s tour of Pakistan.

But Boland was determined to make sure Head got as little time in the middle as possible – he trapped Jake Carder LBW and gave the Ashes Man Of The Series the same treatment two balls later.

Head made a mockery of the English bowling attack in the Ashes but on Wednesday he walked off the pitch with zero runs to his name, the second Redback to fall victim to Boland’s wrath.

If any speculation remained that Boland would struggle to live up to the hype, he firmly dispelled it after the tea break.

He weaponised the new ball to send Weatherald, South Australia’s man of the hour, packing. On 122, he was caught at short cover by Marcus Harris, who is set to join Head, Carey and Boland on the flight to the Subcontinent despite a lukewarm Ashes campaign.

Boland then did away with another Test player in Carey, bowling him cleanly and finishing the day with scintillating figures of 4-41.

The man nicknamed “Barrel” did not get enough help from his teammates – who took one wicket between them – so Victoria will need to come out firing on day two to keep in touch with the contest. At stumps, South Australia was 5-280.

Weatherald said it was a relief to have recovered from Boland’s brutal start and posted his eighth first class century.

“We dealt with some pretty hard stuff out there, obviously facing one of the best bowlers on the planet right now,” he said at stumps.

“We would have rather had some less wickets earlier in the day, that would have really helped us, but it shows the depth of your batting order comes down to being able to recover.

“It shows that there’s some really good depth there now, that we can kick on and still make 400, potentially, after losing two of the best players in the country batting-wise in ‘Heady’ and ‘Cez’ for relatively low scores. It’s good.”

Prior to the day‘s play, Rogers predicted Boland would use the lessons learned at Test level on his return to Shield cricket.

“Now he’s a Test star, you wonder how that lifts his teammates, but also it will affect the opposition as well, knowing they are coming up against a world class bowler,” Rogers said.

“He’s one of those senior players who is never quite satisfied with how things are going; it’s always about getting better, he will do the extra one percenters to find ways to improve.

“The fact he went in (to Test cricket) and did so well straight away is a surprise in terms of how well he did, but not a surprise he did well.

“You can’t put a value on having someone like him setting the standards.”

Rogers turned out to be on the money.

As they look to reply with the bat, Victoria will be relying on Will Pucovski to make a strong return after a highly publicised hiatus from first class cricket.

Battling concussion concerns, Pucosvki has not played at first class level since making his Test debut against India last summer.



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Author: Shirley