Sturt are just 17 runs short of first-innings points after a scorching day that saw the visitors field in the toughest conditions, before a mid-afternoon wind change and slight easing, but that also saw five of our top seven contribute just four runs between them.
Jake Brown elected to bat, as any skipper would have when the mercury had already hit 40 at nearby Kent Town before the start of play. John Dalton’s dismissal on the first ball of the day wasn’t our best on-field start to a new year and the Browns were 2/15 a short time later, when fellow opener Henry Dall followed, but Adam Hose and Brown saw it through to lunch (during which the mercury peaked at 42.6 at Kent Town) and what looked a good platform of 2/104.
However, Hose’s lbw dismissal for 50 in the third over after lunch was the first of six wickets for young legspinner Tom O’Connell (6/54) and triggered a 4/2 middle-order collapse. Brown fell a short time later for 67, to the first of three sharp Alex Gregory slip catches, as part of a slide to 156 all out on the scheduled tea break, keeper Lucas Froude last out for 24.
An early wicket each to Elliot Opie (1/47) and David Grant (2/50) gave some early optimism at 2/22 but an 83-run partnership between Gregory (32) and Sturt skipper Brad David (66no) helped the visitors to 3/140 at the close of play.