Match Report:


WA rocket to top of Shield table for third-straight season

WA has done it again, defeating Victoria on their home deck to claim a home final for the third consecutive season

Victoria v Western Australia | Sheffield Shield | Day 3

A superb bowling display has put Western Australia into their third straight Marsh Sheffield Shield final, which they will host at the WACA Ground, beating Victoria by 138 runs at the Junction Oval.

Already a sudden-death clash for both sides, the match took on extra significance for WA midway through day three as Tasmania's shock loss to South Australia in Hobart meant the two-time reigning champions could secure top spot for the third consecutive season with victory over Victoria.

And they did so comfortably, opener Cameron Bancroft's gritty 166-ball 58 setting the Vics 269 to win, which they never looked likely troubling on a lively pitch where starting an innings has proved difficult for the entire match.

That was again the case on day three as Joel Paris (2-17), Cameron Gannon (1-47) and Charlie Stobo (1-22) combined to leave the Victoria's chasing reeling at 3-31.

They never recovered despite five dropped catches by WA and a fighting 53 from Campbell Kellaway, knocked out by WA for the third straight season (having lost the last two finals) as they were bowled out for 130 with an hour remaining on day three.

A visibly emotional Victorian captain Will Sutherland said it was a "pretty flat" changeroom after the loss.

"This one does hurt, it almost hurts more than making the final and losing," he said. "Three years in a row (knocked out by WA), it's a bit frustrating.

"I thought we could have chased that; we did amazing to bowl them out for what we did, I'm proud of the boys with the ball there, we probably have to look to the batting (that let us down) in this game."

The win gave WA 7.44 points for the match, enough to leapfrog Tasmania (47.36) and into top spot who only managed one first innings bowling bonus point in their loss to South Australia.

Matches played
No results
Batting Bonus
Bowling Bonus
Total points
1 Western Australia Men Western Australia Men WA 10 5 2 3 0 0 5.53 9.4 47.93
2 Tasmanian Tigers Men Tasmanian Tigers Men TAS 10 5 2 3 0 0 6.06 8.3 47.36
3 NSW Men NSW Men NSW 10 4 3 3 0 0 6.31 9 42.31
4 Victoria Men Victoria Men VIC 10 4 4 2 0 0 4.74 8.2 38.94
5 South Australia Men South Australia Men SA 10 3 6 1 0 0 5.19 9.3 33.49
6 Queensland Bulls Queensland Bulls QLD 10 2 6 2 0 0 3.54 8.3 25.84

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

D: Drawn

N/R: No results

Ded.: Deductions

Bat: Batting Bonus

Bowl: Bowling Bonus

PTS: Total points

WA had battled to 6-119 at stumps the previous evening as seamer Fergus O'Neill (3-45) and off-spinner Todd Murphy (2-19) hauled the hosts back into the contest.

Scott Boland (4-51) did his best to keep them in it when play eventually resumed on day three after the first hour was lost to rain, but Bancroft and No.10 Corey Rocchiccioli (18no off 26 balls) did enough to push WA's lead beyond 250.

'Like Superman!' Harper gets horizontal to remove Bancroft

The Australia Test squad member bowled unchanged through a shortened first session, snaring all four WA wickets to fall on day three, including a spectacular diving caught-behind by Sam Harper to remove the resolute Bancroft.

Tall left-armer Liam Haskett then snuffed out any chance of a Victorian fightback with the middle-order wickets of Matt Short (15), skipper Will Sutherland (8) and the winning scalp of Kellaway as Rocchiccioli capped splendid home-and-away campaign with the ball to grab two of the last three to boost his tally to 39 for the season.

The result confirms Western Australia will host Tasmania in Perth from March 21-25 with WA gunning for a Sheffield Shield three-peat for the second time in their history.

"It's an amazing feeling in the group right now, amazing that today's result you could either miss a final or host one," WA skipper Sam Whiteman said.

"The bowling group stepped up this week, everyone chipped in at crucial times – Cameron Gannon the first innings with five (wickets) and Liam Haskett in both innings got some important breakthroughs.

"Cameron Bancroft's innings and (his) partnership with Josh Inglis in the second innings was vital to us winning."