Young Test paceman James Pattinson made an impressive start to the new season by helping skittle Western Australia cheaply on the opening day of the Sheffield Shield clash at the WACA Ground.
Pattinson claimed four wickets to bowl his side into a powerful position in the match and vindicate Bushrangers captain Andrew McDonald’s decision to bowl first on a green wicket.
The Warriors were dismissed for 175 before tea and the Bushrangers were 3-144 at stumps in reply, needing just another 32 runs to claim first innings points.
McDonald, who had faced just 46 balls, was unbeaten on 59 and Peter Handscomb was on 14.
Pattinson, 22, whose promising career has already been troubled by injuries that have restricted him to just five Tests, looked ready for a big summer when taking the new ball for the Bushrangers.
Bowling with good pace and plenty of menace, he struck with his very first ball of the new campaign, clean bowling opener Liam Davis for a golden duck.
Pattinson then claimed the crucial wicket of talented young allrounder Mitchell Marsh (6) with the last ball before lunch. He also removed WA’s last hope for a big score, veteran Adam Voges (39), on his way to 4-30 from 14 overs.
“I am pretty pleased with where I am considering I haven’t had a lot of four-day bowling, although I have done a fair bit of one-day stuff,” said Pattinson, benefiting from a new gym program and a slightly leaner physique.
“Prior to the Australian camp in Darwin I was struggling a bit for rhythm, but it has just clicked over the last month and it seems to be going really well.”
Pattinson said the Victorians had put themselves in a commanding position in the match. “There was a bit of green grass on the wicket and we won a good toss to win.
“The bowlers backed it up well and the batters have set it up pretty well now.”
Pattinson was well supported by fellow Test quick Peter Siddle, who bowled better than his figures of 2-53 indicated.
WA was always in trouble after losing Davis and beleaguered No.3 Shaun Marsh early. Their best partnership was just 35 runs, and only some late swinging from Nathan Rimmington and Michael Hogan added respectability to the score.
Marsh’s woes continued when he survived a very confident appeal for a catch at short leg on four, but made just 10 more runs before being trapped lbw by John Hastings.
Wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt was the most impressive of the WA batsmen, making 42 from 57 balls. The Warriors, beaten by visiting NSW in their season-opening Shield clash two weeks ago, fought back briefly with the ball to have the Victorians 3-82, before McDonald and Handscomb steadied the innings.