Former Test batsman Marcus North continued his fine recent form with his second Sheffield Shield hundred of the summer for Western Australia against South Australia at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
North scored a patient 110 off 213 balls to put the Warriors on track before Ashton Agar (39 not out) and Sam Whiteman (30no) combined for an unbeaten 69-run stand as the visitors finished the day on 6-269.
Redbacks captain Johan Botha (4-71) was the pick of the home side’s bowlers and grabbed the vital scalp of North, while fellow spin bowler Adam Zampa (2-63) also chipped in.
After securing a draw for the Warriors against Victoria with a classy 118no in the Shield opener at the MCG two weeks ago, North ground out another century to repel the Redbacks and is now eyeing a Test recall.
The 34-year-old is the competition’s leading run-scorer thus far and his return to form comes on the back of a tough 2012-13 domestic season which saw him relinquish the captaincy and consider quitting cricket after being dropped to club level.
But North, who scored five tons in 21 Tests, is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of former WA teammate Chris Rogers and earn a Test return in his mid-30s.
Rogers was recalled for the last Ashes series at the age of 35 following a domestic purple patch when most considered his Test career over following his sole appearance in the baggy green five years ago.
“The tough times I’ve had in the last year or so is probably making me more determined. I’m hungrier in the position I am now,” North said.
“This is arguably one of my better domestic starts to the season and I want to build on it; make it last the whole season.
“I enjoyed every opportunity I got to play for Australia, it was some of the best years of my career and I never took it granted.
“I’ve just got to score a truck load more runs, keep enjoying my cricket and you never know.”
North admits he has felt revitalised in his new role at the top of the order and credited coach and former Test opener Justin Langer for the switch that has allowed him to find rhythm again.