JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19
Marsh thunders Warriors to Shield win
Veteran hammers 98 with 19 fours to chase down a modest target on day three in Perth
27 October 2018, 06:48 PM AEST
Shaun Marsh has gone a long way to sealing his Test spot for the series against India after producing another sparkling knock in Western Australia's JLT Sheffield Shield win over Tasmania at the WACA Ground.
Marsh, who scored 80 in the first innings, posted 98 off 92 balls in his second dig as WA chased down the 192-run victory target with seven wickets in hand and a day to spare.
The Warriors were in trouble at 2-5 when Marsh came to the crease on Saturday but the 35-year-old steadied the ship with a scintillating knock that included 19 boundaries.
Marsh fell just short of his 26th first-class ton when he was trapped lbw by part-time spinner Beau Webster with the Warriors requiring just 17 more runs for victory.
But he walked off knowing both the game and his Test spot were likely secured.
"I tried to block out all of the stuff that has been going on with all the media stuff," Marsh said.
"I wanted to be nice and positive this game and just go out there and play with that freedom, and it worked well.
"It was just nice to come back home and be with the WA boys. I love playing cricket here, and it was just nice to spend some time out there.
"It would have been nice to be there at the end and see the job off.
"But I felt like I played really well today, and that was the main thing - getting out there and playing with some freedom."
Hilton Cartwright (84no) was also crucial in the run chase, combining with Marsh for a 170-run stand.
Marsh survived a confident lbw shout from Jackson Bird when on 30 but the near-miss didn't slow him down.
Bird limped off a short time later with a hamstring injury.
Marsh entered the Shield match under immense pressure to perform following his horror Test series against Pakistan in the UAE.
The classy left-hander scored just 14 runs across four innings, with critics calling for him to be axed from the Test side.
Marsh replied in the perfect fashion this week and can now be viewed as a near-certain selection for the four-Test series against India barring injury or a dramatic collapse in form.
Former Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade did his best to boost his own credentials with a fourth straight half-century.
The 30-year-old, who was dumped from the Test team last year, scored 50 in Tasmania's total of 208.
It followed on from his unbeaten 66 in the first innings and scores of 72no and 51 against Queensland last week.
His hot form could see him come into contention for a Test recall as a specialist batsman.
WA paceman Cameron Green finished with 3-12 in Tasmania's second innings to follow on from his first-innings haul of 6-30.
Jhye Richardson, Matthew Kelly and Marcus Stoinis chipped in with two wickets each.
Richardson, who missed out on a spot the Australian ODI squad named on Saturday, finished with 2-26 from 16 overs in a controlled display.
"I've been told to crack into Shield cricket and see what I can do and really learn," Richardson said of the disappointment of not being able to add to his four ODIs in the upcoming series against South Africa.