Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Three fifties for Victoria, but WA's Jhye Richardson keeps match on even keel

Jhye Richardson lets out a roar Getty Images

Victoria 6 for 277 (Harris 69, Pucovsci 64, Richardson 3-45) v Western Australia

Honours were shared on the opening day in Perth as Victoria went to stumps at 6 for 277, having opted to bat against Western Australia. It could have been Victoria's day but Jhye Richardson dismissed half centurions Matthew Short and Will Pucovsci in the dying stages of the day to pull things back for the home team. Richardson impressed with returns of 3 for 45 in 23 overs.

Victoria had started solidly with openers Marcus Harris and Nic Maddinson continuing their good form, adding 78, before Matthew Kelly removed Maddinson for 37. Harris went on to get his 26th first-class fifty, following up on his 116 in the last match against South Australia. He became Kelly's second and only other scalp for 69, and when Peter Handscomb fell for 12 and Glenn Maxwell quickly followed suit for 1, Western Australia were right back in the contest having reduced Victoria to 4 for 128.

That's when Short and Pucovsci got together and stitched a 114-run fifth-wicket stand to arrest the slide. But neither batsman could surpass Harris' 69, Short falling for 55 and Pucovsci, the last wicket of the day, for 64, which meant that the match remained evenly poised. Wicketkeeper Sam Harper (22*) and pacer James Pattinson (5*) safely negotiated the remaining 5.2 overs with an unbeaten stand of 12.