JLT Sheffield Shield 2017-18
WA crumble, Bulls on verge of home final
Western Australia bowled out for just 93 on the final day after Renshaw's third century from three games
9 March 2018, 04:16 PM AEST
Queensland all but secured a spot in their first Sheffield Shield decider for five years after routing Western Australia by 211 runs on the final day of their rain-affected match in Brisbane.
Needing a win to stay in contention, the Warriors were bowled out on Friday for just 93 in the 39th over, as they chased an unlikely target of 305 from 59 overs in bowler-friendly conditions at the Gabba.
The win also means Queensland are almost certain to host the decider, barring a rare haul of bonus points from Tasmania or Victoria when they square off in next week's final round in a battle for the other spot in the final.
It is a second big win in succession for Queensland, and the third in four matches since the mid-season resumption.
"It's probably one of the better wins, especially given we missed quite a bit of the match due to rain," said Bulls opener Matthew Renshaw.
"We knew that if we got enough runs on the board, WA were going to go for it. They had to win to try and stay in the hunt, so we knew if we dangled the carrot out there they'd probably have a go.
"We backed our bowlers to to a pretty good job and our fielders to take the catches.
"We weren't expecting to get a result out of this match after a few days rain, but our bowlers bowled beautifully.
"It is a pretty young team, with maybe an average age of 24 or 25, and none of us have been in a Shield final before so we are all looking forward to."
Queensland's declaration was set up by another classy century from Renshaw.
It was his third century in as many matches and the first time such a feat had been achieved by a Queenslander since Matt Hayden did the same 24 years ago.
Renshaw and Charlie Hemphrey, who added 68 not out to his unbeaten century from the first innings, put on an unbroken 175 for the third wicket, allowing the home side to declare at 2-252.
"It is just a few little tinkers," Renshaw said when asked about the reason for his improvement in the second half of the season.
"The big one was working on my fitness over the Big Bash period. It is nice to get that reward."
Queensland's bowling, especially at home, has been a key to their recent success, with four different wicket-takers on the final day.
Paceman Michael Neser (3-41) did the early damage as WA slipped to 4-16, and then 8-52.
"Queensland are a really good side and they are top of the table for a reason," said Western Australia captain Ashton Turner.
"We want to play better four-day cricket and be competing for Sheffield Shields, which is a really high priority for us in Western Australia.
"We will be looking to get our fast bowlers on the park more next season, whereas this season we have been a bit limited."
Queensland: Lachlan Pfeffer, Matthew Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne, Charlie Hemphrey, Sam Heazlett, Jack Wildermuth, Jimmy Peirson (c/wk), Michael Neser, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Luke Feldman. Brendan Doggett (12th)
Western Australia: D'Arcy Short, Josh Philippe, Jonathan Wells, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner (c), Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Agar, Josh Inglis (wk), Matthew Kelly, Liam Guthrie, Simon Mackin. Will Bosisto (12th).