Western Australia staged a remarkable comeback to defy the
odds and win the Sheffield Shield cricket competition in the 1967-68 season.
The side, led by Tony Lock, appeared to be in a hopeless
position after it was soundly beaten by South Australia in Adelaide in the
first of four away matches in February 1968.
But then WA rebounded to score brilliant victories over
Queensland in Brisbane, New South Wales in Sydney and Victoria in Melbourne in
successive weeks to snatch the prestigious trophy from the titleholders
What made this outstanding performance all the more
meritorious was the fact that WA lost the toss in all three matches and had to
overcome the disadvantage of being sent in to bat in each match.
WA recovered from a dismal 3-8 to score 353 against NSW at
the SCG, thanks to centuries from vice-captain John Inverarity and Jock Irvine,
before Graham McKenzie and Laurie Mayne routed the home side for 121. NSW,
forced to follow-on, were bundled out for 131, giving WA victory by an innings
and 101 runs.
A week later at the Gabba, WA stumbled to 6-71 before Ross
Edwards (57) and Ian Brayshaw (43) helped the side to reach 195. Mayne and Lock
were the destroyers when Queensland replied with 175, after losing their final
six wickets for 13 runs.
Lock declared WA’s second innings at 9-269 and then he took
five wickets as Queensland collapsed for 145, leaving WA victorious by 144
After Victorian captain Bill Lawry won the toss and sent WA
in to bat, the visitors scored 405, with a defiant Inverarity compiling 173 in
407 minutes and Ron Bowe 86.
Mayne (five wickets) and Lock (four) combined to dismiss
Victoria for 196. Forced to follow-on, Victoria managed 227, with Lawry the
mainstay with 103 and McKenzie and Lock the wreckers. WA then scored 20 without
loss to romp to a ten-wicket victory which gave the State its first Shield win
when competing on a full-time basis.
Ron Bowe, Derek Chadwick, John Inverarity, Murray Vernon, Jock Irvine, Ross Edwards, Gordon Becker, Ian Brayshaw, Graham McKenzie, Tony Lock, Laurie Mayne, Tony Mann, Kieth Slater, Jim Hubble, Bill Playle, Sam Gannon.