Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/23/shield-clash-set-for-thrilling-finale

Shield clash set for thrilling finale

UPDATED 23 February, 2013 9:59PM AEST | by Ben Cameron, Omnisport 2

The Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Tasmania is in the balance at stumps on day three with the Warriors needing just six runs for victory and the Tigers two wickets.

Western Australia looked to be cruising towards an unlikely win at 6-324 before Sam Whiteman (83) was caught in the gully after an Adam Maher delivery lifted off a length, caught the shoulder of the bat and ballooned to Alex Doolan at gully.

Ryan Duffield (12) moved the Warriors 20 runs closer to their second innings target of 357 for victory with Ashton Agar (71 not out) before he was out caught and bowled by James Faulkner.

Burt Cockley (four not out) and Agar are the batsman who will be at the crease when the game resumes under the unique circumstances on Sunday morning.

Under the Sheffield Shield rules play was extended half-an-hour beyond the scheduled close of play due to the chance of an outright result, but at 6:18pm local time stumps were called despite the match headed for a thrilling finale.

Whiteman's knock of 83 and partnership of 121 with Agar were the highest of the match and moved the Warriors from an outside chance into a winning position.

Western Australia needed just 33 more runs to win when Whiteman fell and again the balance of power shifted in the match.

Tasmania had started the day at 9-238 in their second innings and lasted just two balls in the morning when Adam Maher (five) spooned an attempted drive to Michael Hogan at mid-on off the bowling off Burt Cockley.

On a green third-day pitch, Western Australia made a bad start to the chase as they lost the wickets of Marcus Harris (seven), Liam Davis (15) and Luke Towers (five) to fall to 3-37 in their chase.

Mike Hussey (44) then combined with John Rodgers (39) for an 81-run stand.

Mitch Marsh (51), who was making his Shield return from a long-term hamstring injury and backing up after a Ryobi Cup century, then continued the Western Australian resistance with Sam Whiteman in a 66-run partnership.

Adjudged lbw off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus, Marsh showed his displeasure with a suggestion he may have got an inside edge as he prodded forward.

Hilfenhaus (3-59) and Faulkner (4-69) were the main wicket takers for the Tigers, Adam Maher (1-60) the only other bowler to strike.

Luke Butterworth (0-75) and Jason Krejza (0-64) both finished without reward and unflattering figures.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 23 February, 2013 9:57PM AEST

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