Stumps Western Australia 146 for 0 (Whiteman 67*, Bancroft 63*) trail Tasmania 439 (Silk 181, Webster 64, Wade 51, Rocchiccioli 3-144, Stobo 3-87) by 293 runs
Bancroft is looking to make the most out of the conditions on the back of a commanding century earlier this month against a strong Victoria attack at the WACA.
With David Warner set to retire from Test cricket over the summer, the race is on to find his replacement, and Bancroft has so far made a compelling case. A nervous starter at times, Bancroft had to endure a few tests early in his innings. Shuffling across the stumps, Bancroft struggled initially against seamer Lawrence Neil-Smith, who targeted his pads.
Once he got through the new ball, Bancroft looked immovable, and so too Whiteman. Tasmania’s bowlers rarely threatened in 53 overs, but they will feel relieved that conditions are set to be significantly cooler on day three.
Resuming at 281 for 6, all eyes were on Silk, who had finished day one on 99. He remained agonisingly stuck on that score for almost 30 minutes into the day’s play, pinned back to the crease by accurate bowling from quicks Liam Haskett and Aaron Hardie.
On his 22nd ball of the day, Silk scurried through for a single to finally bring up his century. After such a cautious start, Tasmania got a roll on with Jarrod Freeman and Silk hitting seven boundaries in succession.
But WA looked set to wrap up the innings when a fine catch running backwards from Lance Morris dismissed Freeman, who made the most of the sedate conditions with a breezy 30 off 14 balls.
WA’s bid to escape the heat was thwarted by a 77-run ninth-wicket partnership between Silk and Neil-Smith, who held up an end. Silk opened up after lunch with several gorgeous drives to inch towards a double-century.
Silk’s indefatigable innings ended when he was trapped lbw by seamer Charlie Stobo early in the second session, the last wicket to fall in the day’s play.
Morris only bowled a three-over spell on day two as he works his way back from a stress-related back injury that ruled him out of the Ashes. Clocked at around 140kph, Morris unleashed several bouncers and enticed an edge from Silk that flew past wicketkeeper Josh Philippe.
He finished with 2 for 55 from 19 overs – solid figures on a pitch that has so far proved unrelenting for bowlers.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth