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Australia’s best domestic 50-over players – Western Australia

Roar Guru
10th December, 2023
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Roar Guru
10th December, 2023
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In this series of articles I am selecting teams for each state who performed the best in Australia’s domestic 50-over competition. This time we look at Western Australia.

Shaun Marsh (2002-2022), three titles

3672 runs at 44.78, 10 centuries, 11 man of the match awards

Over a 20-year career Shaun Marsh has scored more one-day runs, earned more player of the match awards and hit more centuries for WA than anyone else. Over the entire competition only Brad Hodge (20), Michael Klinger (12) and Callum Ferguson (11) have hit more hundreds. Marsh is the only WA player to ever be named man of the series, in 2017-18. He was also player of the match in their 2019-20 final victory.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Geoff Marsh (1982-1994), two titles

1596 runs at 53.2, three centuries, five man of the match awards

Partnering Shaun is father Geoff, the only player to have topped WA’s season runs on more occasions than his namesake – Marsh Snr did it six times to Jnr’s five. Marsh was a model of consistency anchoring teams at the top of the order and was perfectly geared to his era where 4.5 runs per over would win most matches.

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Marsh’s average is the fifth-highest average in competition history and highest for WA.

He topped the competition runs in 1990-91 and was man of the match in the final with 91 not out from 116 balls as WA beat NSW by seven wickets.

Honourable mentions for opener include Justin Langer, Cameron Bancroft, Ryan Campbell and Graeme Wood.

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Cameron Bancroft of Western Australia celebrates scoring a half century during the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and Western Australia at Blundstone Arena, on February 22, 2023, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Western Australia’s Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Damien Martyn (1991-2005), one title

2207 runs at 47.17, four centuries, five man of the match awards

Damien Martyn’s career average of over 47 is the second-highest in WA history. He topped the competition runs in 1997-98 with 494 runs, an all-time competition record up to that point.

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Marcus North (2000-2013), two titles

2935 runs at 41.92, five centuries, 37 wickets, seven man of the match awards

There was a real toss-up between Marcus North and Adam Voges for this slot but in the end Voges is the unlucky one to miss out. North and Voges have very similar records, but North won an additional title and also took 37 wickets at a decent average compared to Voges’ 23.

On the other hand, Voges scored the second-most career runs for WA behind Shaun Marsh and captained the state more than any other player.

North topped the season runs for WA twice (in 2004-05 and 2008-09), and his five centuries was bettered only by regular openers Shaun Marsh and Justin Langer.

Mike Hussey (1997-2013), three titles

2720 runs at 38.85, three centuries, eight man of the match awards

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Mike Hussey topped the competition runs in 2001-02 and also topped the tally for WA in 2003-04, winning the title in that later season.

In 2001-02 Hussey did all he could to win the title. In addition to his season-topping runs tally, Hussey smashed 84 not out from just 68 balls in the final from No.6, as WA set NSW 272 for victory. Unfortunately he came up against Michael Bevan, who anchored the chase with 135 not out.

Honourable mentions: Adam Voges, Ryan Phillipe, Ashton Turner, John Inverarity and Mike Veletta.

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Tom Moody (1985-2001), four titles

2004 runs at 33.96, two centuries, 70 wickets at 30.44, nine man of the match awards

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Moody has the seventh-most runs in history for the state plus the fifth-most wickets. He topped the state’s season runs and wickets twice each. He is one of only six players in the competition’s history to score over 1000 runs and take more than 70 wickets.

Moody’s eight final appearances is behind only Michael Bevan (and equal with WA’s Graeme Wood and Rod Marsh).
In 1996-97 in Perth against SA, Moody put in a special performance. In WA’s innings for just 9-210, Moody came in at 4-24 and scored 102 not out, with Adam Gilchrist’s 37 being the only other score over 15. Then in SA’s innings, Moody took 4-30 from nine overs to dominate the match as SA were bowled out for 171.

Honourable mentions: Ian Brayshaw and Mitchell Marsh.

Mitch Marsh celebrates his one-day century against South Australia

(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Rod Marsh (1969-1984), four titles

762 runs at 31.75, 51 dismissals, two man of the match awards

A young Rod Marsh was built for this new game of 50-over cricket. He only played 33 matches between 1969 and 1984 but his average of 31.75 and especially his strike rate of over 86 were right at the forefront during his time leading a dominant WA team. Marsh topped the competition runs in 1974-75 and also WA runs in 1973-74.

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Marsh appeared in eight finals, winning four. He scored 99 not out in the 1973-74 semi-final against NSW, which propelled WA into the final and their second title. Chasing what was in those days a very steep 263 for victory, WA were 3-67 and then 6-152 before Marsh combined with Bruce Yardley (59 not out) to guide his side home.

He also won the man of the match award in the 1974-75 semi-final for his 74 from just 59 balls against Queensland who chased down their 40-over target of 169 in just 27 overs.

Marsh was a next-level hitter in an era where 200 runs was a good 50-over score. Even as late as 1984 he scored 40 from 33 balls in WA’s semi-final victory, and then top-scored with 54 from just 39 balls in their final loss to SA.

Honourable mentions go to Luke Ronchi and Adam Gilchrist.

Brad Hogg (1994-2007), two titles

60 wickets at 32.55. 1169 runs at 29.22, two man of the match awards

There is basically only one spin bowler who has a decent record for WA and that is Brad Hogg. His claim to fame, apart from his tongue and longevity, is earning man of the match in the 1999-2000 final for his 40 not out, 2-20 in seven overs, which was a major factor in a high-scoring contest.

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Kade Harvey (1995-2005), three titles

103 wickets at 27.12, two man of the match awards

Kade Harvey was likely not the first bowler you would have thought of, however he richly deserves his spot in this team. Harvey has the seventh-most wickets in competition history and has only recently been passed by Aaron Tye as WA’s highest wicket-taker.

Harvey topped the competition for wickets in consecutive seasons in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

He was man of the match in the 2003-04 final against Queensland, taking 4-28 from nine overs. Then, coming in at 5-156 chasing 245, he scored 53 not out from 42 balls in one of the great all-round finals performances as WA won by four wickets with only two balls to spare.

Andrew Tye (2013-2022), two titles

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117 wickets at 20.12, four man of the match awards

The only player to take more wickets for WA than Kade Harvey is Andrew Tye. Tye has the fifth-most wickets in competition history, as well as the fourth-best average and second-best career strike rate (only behind Mitchell Starc).

Tye was man of the match in the 2022 final, taking 4-30 from eight overs as WA defeated NSW by just 18 runs.

He has topped the competition wickets twice and for WA six times. He is the only WA bowler to take six wickets in an innings, with 6-46 in the famous D’Arcy Short 257 game against Queensland in 2018-19.

Dennis Lillee (1969-1984), three titles

48 wickets at 15.95, two man of the match awards

It couldn’t be a WA side without Dennis Lillee. Lillee only played 26 times for WA, but won three titles and has the second-best bowling average (behind Starc) and the best economy rate in competition history (minimum 1000 balls bowled). He also topped the competition’s season wickets three times, a feat only matched by NSW’s Stuart MacGill.

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Lillee produced possibly the most famous performance in competition history in a knock-out game against Queensland in 1976-77. On a ‘spicy’ Perth pitch WA were shot out for just 77 runs. In response, a fired up Lillee bowled star Bulls import Viv Richards for a six-ball duck, and had Greg Chappell caught behind for just 2 as Queensland crumbled to 62 all out. Lillee finished with 4-21.

There are so many honourable mentions here, including: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ken MacLeay, Terry Alderman (one of only two bowlers to take four wickets in a final twice), Mick Malone, Wayne Clark and Graham McKenzie. It’s truly a wonderful list and I left out a few more like Jo Angel and Damien Fleming.

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