Shaun Marsh says WA ‘won’t take any risks’ with Jhye Richardson in Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania
The heavens are set to open over Perth tomorrow and when they do, WA will be praying that speedster Jhye Richardson isn’t out of action for too long after suffering yet another injury setback.
In his first Sheffield Shield game since 2019, Richardson did not take to the field on the second day against Tasmania at the WACA Ground, but WA are hopeful the pace ace will be able return if play resumes over the next two days.
“Jhye Richardson suffered an acute spasm in his thoracic spine during the warm-up... and won’t take the field (on Monday),” WA Cricket said in a statement.
“He will be reviewed daily to determine if he is fit to return to the match.
“At this stage we anticipate that Jhye will be able to play a role in the match, pending further improvement over the next 24-48 hours.”
Richardson was struck during WA’s first innings on day one but continued to bat and bowled two overs in the dying stages of the first day’s play, claiming the scalp of opener Tim Ward for a duck.
The 25-year-old then suffered a back spasm in the warm-up, in what WA skipper Shaun Marsh called a “big blow” to the side.
“He’s a fantastic bowler so to lose him in the warm-up was disappointing for us,” Marsh said.
“We won’t take any risks with him. If he’s not right, he’s not right. But if we can get back out there in the second innings, that’d be great.”
Richardson suffered a side strain in September and it was last week revealed he was also battling an ankle injury. Those concerns followed shoulder issues that resulted in surgery for the right-arm quick.
With Richardson unavailable, the Warriors spread the wickets early before allrounder Hilton Cartwright cleaned up the Tasmanian tail in a career-best performance with the ball.
Inspired bowling from WA duo Cameron Green and Lance Morris wrestled momentum back in the morning session after the first hour was well in the visitors’ favour.
Morris, 23, claimed the breakthrough wicket of the second Tasmanian opener in Caleb Jewell (28) before Charlie Wakim (6) cut a Cameron Green delivery down the throat of D’Arcy Short at point the very next over.
Nightwatchman Lawrence Neil-Smith (60) made himself comfortable at the crease beyond noon before he was hit on the helmet by a short ball from Morris.
He was cleared of concussion and continued on to reach his half century before Joel Paris knocked off the top of off-stump soon after lunch.
Bringing spin into the attack, D’Arcy Short struck first ball, trapping ‘keeper-batter Jake Doran LBW.
Cartwright got into the action in the 60th over, getting the thick edge of Ben McDermott (49) off his second delivery.
A handy partnership between allrounders Jordan Silk (47) and Beau Webster (53*) saw the visitors surpass WA’s first innings total of 238 in the 67th over before captain Shaun Marsh turned to Cartwright again.
The 29-year-old claimed three Tasmanian scalps in quick succession, as the allrounder produced career-best figures of 4-23 off just seven overs.
Webster watched on as Cartwright sent his partners in Silk, Jarrod Freeman and Peter Siddle back to the pavilion before Short knocked over Gabe Bell as Tasmania lost 4-5 in their final five overs.
“I just tried to do a job for the guys, get them to the (new ball) and the guys in the (Tasmanian) changeroom just nicked them for me,” Cartwright said. “I just hung in there and got a few rewards.”
Despite the extra wickets, Cartwright says he hopes he can share any second-innings scalps with his injured teammate - who he said must be “in a fair bit of pain” to be missing out.
“I think if you’re in their changeroom and you have to face of me or Richo, you’re picking me,” he said. “Hopefully he can get right.”
WA pair Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman, quickly chewed up the visitors lead before the former Australian opener was caught-behind off a Siddle delivery as the hosts finished day two at 1-42 with a lead of 28.
Day three is expected to be completely washed out, with up to 30mm of rain set to fall on Tuesday. With 10mm expected on Wednesday, a result looks in doubt.
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