Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Tassie in control after late declaration
Visitors give WA the slightest sniff with target of 480 but last-ball wicket only adds to daunting final-day scenario
5 April 2021, 08:36 PM AEST
Western Australia will need to mount the second-best chase in Marsh Sheffield Shield history if they're to take part in this summer's final.
The home side finished the penultimate day of their clash with Tasmania at 1-11, still needing another 469 runs to beat the Tigers.
With a projected 96 overs to be bowled on the final day at the WACA, it has left the home side at long odds to supplant either NSW or Queensland from the decider starting April 15, with those two sides playing out what looks likely to be a draw in Wollongong.
Routed for 219 on Monday in response to the visitors' 514, WA were again largely bit players as the Tigers then threw the bat to score 6(dec)-184.
It set up a target of 480, a mark only bettered by South Australia in the 1991-92 season when they chased down 506 against Queensland.
Requiring a win to make the Shield decider, WA have been up against it since the second session on day one – losing key paceman Joel Paris to injury and then struggling to rope in the Tigers' batsmen in their 514-run first innings.
Resuming at 0-46 on Monday, things only got worse for WA.
The hosts lost Sam Whiteman (42), Shaun Marsh (14) and Cameron Bancroft (57) in the space of 35 runs as they struggled to score at more than three an over.
The Shield season's second-highest run-scorer Cameron Green then looked to up the ante but departed for 17, caught by his Australian captain Tim Paine off the bowling of Lawrence Neil-Smith (2-28).
And when Mitch Marsh (24) was out on the cusp of lunch, lbw to Jarrod Freeman (4-72), WA were seemingly struggling to save the game, let alone win it at 5-162.
Given the likely draw in Wollongong, there was a scenario whereby they could have claimed enough bonus points to sneak past NSW into second spot, but the 434 required from 100 overs never appeared likely as wickets fell, including the final five for 57 in the middle session.
Take a gander at this from Tassie quick Sammy Rainbird, who made the ball talk to dismiss Cameron Bancroft with the final ball of day three in Perth #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/012K9V6vCy— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) April 5, 2021
Backing up from his first-innings century, Beau Webster snared 2-32 for the Tigers while Jackson Bird had 2-50.
With no heat on the Tigers, their batsmen opened up their shoulders, Jordan Silk top-scoring with 46 and Matthew Wade clubbing 42 from just 32 balls.
Cameron Gannon grabbed 3-66.
WA then faced six overs but showed little appetite to push the scoring along before Cameron Bancroft (10) was bowled by Sam Rainbird on what would be the last ball of the day.