Western Australia 282 for 6 (Wightman 137*, Bancroft 51, Pope 3-59) won South Australia 279 for 7 (Drew 84, McSweeney 53, Short 1-27) with four wickets.
Coming off a rare sub-par Shield match, Bancroft was put on 10 when Daniel Drew dropped the sitter at first slip off Jordan Buckingham. He looked steady from there and cruised to his half-century before falling a pound to Lloyd Pope soon after.
Pope then removed Hilton Cartwright, but Wightman played fluently and reached 99 with a huge six on the famous grass banks before two balls later clinched his first List ton in his 61st match.
He hit the winning boundary with three balls remaining and was supported at the death by the powerful hitting of Richardson, who smashed 25 off 16 balls. Richardson, who has played three Tests in an injury-plagued career, earlier took 1 for 63 from 10 overs in his second match of the season.
“He’s very skilled. He’s been through a frustrating time, so he’s very excited to play,” Whiteman said of Richardson. “He also got some runs in and took the pressure off me at the end.”
The winless Redbacks were shorthanded after speedy Harry Conway was unable to hit due to a back injury while batting.
The two-time defending champions, Western Australia, move to a 4-1 record as they battle with Victoria at the top of the table.
WA decided to throw in the towel and all eyes were on the hapless Richardson, who returned last month against Victoria in the Marsh Cup after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following hamstring surgery. But he suffered another setback after dislocating his shoulder in a second XI match for WA in Adelaide.
Having recently made a successful return to Perth cricket, Richardson got off to a nervous start opening the bowling against the aggressive Jake Fraser-McGurk, who last month smashed the world’s fastest List A of the century.
Richardson started with five wides and his mood soured further in the next over when Fraser McGurk smashed him for two boundaries and two sixes in his 22 over.
Richardson was reeling after conceding 30 points in his first two games, but Whiteman stuck with him. The gamble appeared to backfire as Fraser McGurk chipped in for another boundary before Richardson refilled confidence on the next delivery by penetrating his defenses with a well-executed slower ball.
After a whirlwind Fraser-McGurk 31 off 15 balls, South Australia batted cautiously and were pinned in the middle by Connolly’s precise offside. There were high expectations for Connolly, 20, who burst onto the scene after his heroics in the BBL final last season.
After impressing in Australia’s first two Marsh Cup matches, Connolly’s hopes of making a Sheffield Shield debut were dashed when he injured his toe following a boating accident.
Speeding up his deliveries quickly, Connolly dismissed opener Henry Hunt and finished with 1 for 41 from 10 overs.
Half-centuries from Drew and Nathan McSweeney kept South Australia on track for a score of over 300. Drew’s dismissal in the 33rd over halted their momentum after he fell to left-arm fast debutant Liam Haskett, who has performed well in three Sheffield Shield matches this season. .
But Scott scored six off the last ball of the innings and continued the momentum with the ball before Whiteman took over in his second match to lead the 50-over West Australian side.
Tristan Lavallette is a journalist based in Perth