SYDNEY: Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is in ominous form leading up to the Ashes after snaring a hat trick in each innings of a domestic first-class match, creating a first in Australia.
The left-arm paceman took the last three wickets of Western Australia's first innings and repeated the sequence in the second innings Tuesday, leading New South Wales to a 171-run victory. It was the first time a bowler has taken a hat trick in each innings of a first-class match in Australia.
The Ashes series starts Nov. 23 at the Gabba in Brisbane, where Australia is expected to field the all-New South Wales bowling attack of Starc and his fellow quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon.
England has two more warmup matches before the test series begins, commencing with a day-night pink ball match against an Australian Chairman's XI starting Wednesday in Adelaide. Allrounder Moeen Ali and pace bowler Steven Finn have been ruled out of the tour match with injuries sustained last week in Perth.