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South Australia with noses in front

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Tom Cooper believes South Australia are in a strong position heading into day two of their Sheffield Shield match against the Western Warriors at Gliderol Stadium.

Cooper top-scored with 83 runs and helped guide South Australia to 6-306 at the end of the opening day’s play.

The Redbacks made a promising start after winning the toss and electing to bat, but were pegged back in the middle session before Cooper and Alex Ross teamed up for a 101-run fifth wicket stand after tea.

The visitors though took two crucial wickets, dismissing Cooper and Ross (45) in the closing stages before stumps.

“It’s always nice to contribute to the team,” Cooper said.

“Obviously we’re in a decent position, not quite as good as it probably should be.

“Those two wickets at the end could be pretty crucial.

“But in saying that, we’re in a pretty good position.”

Cooper said the Redbacks need another solid shift in the morning and is hoping SA can push their total past 400.

“I reckon if we can get close to 400 or more it probably gets us in front a bit,” Cooper said.

“It’s probably pretty even at this stage.

“It’s going to be a big morning and hopefully it goes our way.”

Redbacks openers Kelvin Smith and Mark Cosgrove had put on a strong first-wicket partnership of 112 before Smith was removed with the last delivery before lunch.

The 20-year-old was clean bowled by medium-pacer Tom Beaton after an impressive knock of 56 which produced seven boundaries.

Cosgrove was the next to fall, caught for 74 by Simon Mackin at backward square leg off an Ashton Agar delivery.

Callum Ferguson followed soon after, adding just 33 runs before he played a hook shot straight to Marcus Harris at deep square leg, giving Mackin his first wicket.

Agar then claimed his second wicket, trapping Redbacks skipper Travis Head LBW for four runs in the final over before the tea break.

The Redbacks lifted in the final session courtesy of the Cooper-Ross partnership before Hogan and Agar halted SA’s run rate.

Tim Ludeman and Trent Lawford will start in the middle when play resumes for day two on one and two runs respectively.

Hogan was the Warriors best with the ball, collecting 1-47 from his 23.3 overs including nine maidens. Agar finished with 3-91 and Beaton 1-29.

The Warriors will be monitoring bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile, who left the field halfway through the last session with injury after bowling 13.3 overs for 0-46.

– AAP

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