WA's Bancroft hits Shield ton on return

Opener Cameron Bancroft was unbeaten at the end of WA's first innings against NSW.
Opener Cameron Bancroft was unbeaten at the end of WA's first innings against NSW.

Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft took another step on the road to redemption by scoring an unbeaten 138, but NSW boast a narrow advantage at the midway point of their Sheffield Shield match at Bankstown Oval

Second-placed NSW reached 3-188 at the close of play to be 91 runs in arrears of the visitors.

Recently capped Test batsman Kurtis Patterson led the way with a patient unbeaten 57. Youngster Jason Sangha is not out on 20.

There were starts for Daniel Hughes (30), Nick Larkin (36) and Moises Henriques (30), though each fell just as NSW looked likely to build a large partnership.

But the focus was all on Bancroft in his Shield return following his nine-month ban for using sandpaper on the ball during the Test series in South Africa last March.

WA resumed at 5-183 with Bancroft on 73 after a rain-affected opening day that saw the opener record a strike-rate of just 30.

After fellow opener Sam Whiteman contributed 66 on day one, and with no other batsman passing 10, it was left to Bancroft to hold the innings together and demonstrate that his powers of concentration have not wavered.

After bringing up his ton off 270 balls, Bancroft eventually carried his bat for the third time in his career in a marathon 358-ball innings.

It is the first of four Shield matches for the 26-year-old to make an impression ahead of squad selection for this year's Ashes series.

NSW were best served by fast bowler Trent Copeland (4-81) and spinner Steve O'Keefe (4-78).

Australian Associated Press