Harris falls, Vics 6-277 v WA in Shield

Victorian Test opener Marcus Harris has fallen for 69 on day one of the WA Shield match in Perth.
Victorian Test opener Marcus Harris has fallen for 69 on day one of the WA Shield match in Perth.

Incumbent Test opener Marcus Harris squandered the chance to post another century before a fighting knock from young gun Will Pucovski helped Victoria consolidate in their Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia in Perth.

WA speedster Jhye Richardson struck twice with the new ball late on Friday's first day at the WACA Ground, sending Victoria to stumps at 6-277.

Pucovski scored a determined 64 off 160 balls before Richardson had him caught behind down the leg side.

The 21-year-old, who came close to making his Test debut last summer, had combined with Matt Short (55) for a 114-run partnership.

It was another classy innings from Pucovski, who scored a century in Victoria's opening-round run-fest draw with South Australia at Junction Oval.

Victoria will be left to rue none of their batsmen going on with promising starts.

Harris had earlier looked to be on track for his second ton in as many games when he brought up his 50 with a sweetly struck cut shot.

But the left-hander had a lapse on 69, trapped lbw while ambitiously attempting to play across the line of a Matt Kelly delivery.

Harris, coming off a lean Ashes series, scored 116 in the opening Shield round but has shown a tendency to throw away his wicket.

"Probably not the greatest shot ever to get out on," he admitted.

"It was good to get a decent score. It would have been better to get a hundred.

"I feel like I'm batting well. (Test selection) will be all the talk, obviously in the first four Shield games whoever makes runs they'll talk about.

"But there's still a few Shield games to go before that's even picked so I'll just worry about doing what I'm doing for Victoria and that stuff will take care of itself."

His was one of three dismissals for Victoria in quick succession after lunch.

Ashton Agar's first ball snared skipper Peter Handscomb (12), clean bowled while trying to drive the left-arm spinner down the ground.

Glenn Maxwell was trapped lbw by a searching Richardson inswinger, before Pucovski and Short steadied the visitors.

Victoria had reached 1-79 at lunch after Handscomb won the toss and elected to bat, with Nic Maddinson (37) the first to fall.

Maddinson plundered 224 in the opening Shield round, continuing his outstanding form since being axed by NSW and moving to Victoria.

Aaron Finch was a notable omission for Victoria, being rested after suffering a back spasm during the match against SA.

Richardson (3-45) bowled superbly for WA, striking immediately with the new ball when he coaxed an edge to second slip from Short.

Australian Associated Press