Number 11 batsman Liam O’Connor has pulled off one of the more incredible escapes the Sheffield Shield has seen as the clash between Western Australia and South Australia went down to the final ball.
With one wicket left with just under four overs remaining after four days of action, the game literally went down to the final ball.
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The final day of the clash at the WACA was all about batting out the day for Western Australia with Hilton Cartwright batting out 122 balls for 25 with a back injury, while Cameron Gannon ended on 13 not out off 65 balls.
But neither man was the real hero as Gannon watched in despair as the final ball of the penultimate over ran away for four.
It mean O’Connor, the 27-year-old leg spinner who had failed to score in four first class innings, a one-day match and had seven runs with a highest score of 2 in T20 cricket, had to face the final over against one-Test player Chadd Sayers.
O’Connor saw off first five balls as the field came right in with the final ball seeing nearly every South Australian player in slips or in close to the bat.
Sayers came in with a good length ball and the ball popped up in the air, but fell just short of the point fielder.
“He survived, Liam O’Connor has done it for Western Australia,” the commentator said. “A heroic 0 not out, it popped up in the air agonisingly.”
It meant Western Australia had survived for the draw, coming after a sporting declaration in the first innings.
Chasing 8/510 on the back of South Australia’s Aussie star Travis Head hitting 223, Western Australia declared at 5/409, despite Cameron Green being not out for 168.
South Australia hit 9/230 before declaring with Alex Carey on 82 not out, setting Western Australia 332 to win.
Western Australia were never really in the hunt to chase down the score and dropped anchor.
But the late wickets sent it right down to the wire in an absorbing finish to the match.
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