Western Australia secure big win but must wait for final outcome

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Mar
22

Western Australia 138 (Neser 5-15) and 348 (Marsh 105, Bancroft 52, Steketee 4-65) beat Queensland 175 (Heazlett 68, Hardie 4-29) and 175 (Renshaw 73, Hardie 4-33) by 136 runs

Western Australia did all they could to secure a place in the Sheffield Shield final by beating Queensland in three days at the WACA meaning New South Wales have to beat Tasmania if they want to face Victoria next week.

When Matthew Kelly had Michael Neser caught at mid-on to complete a 136-run victory, WA were in second place but knew they would have to watch the final day unfold in Hobart to see if they will be travelling to Melbourne for the final.

Aaron Hardie, who enjoyed a memorable debut with eight wickets, and Joel Paris shared seven wickets to bundle out Queensland for 175 for the second time in the match. Only Matt Renshaw with 73 provided much resistance and Western Australia took the extra half hour to complete the match on the third evening.

Hardie cut through Queensland’s top order removing Marnus Labuschagne, Charlie Hemphrey and Sam Heazlett as they slipped from a promising 1 for 65 to 4 for 81 in the space of four overs.

For a little while it appeared the home side may have to come back to finish the job, but Hardie ended Luke Feldman’s first-class career when he speared one through him before Neser fell in the next over.

Queensland’s hefty target of 312 in a match where the bowlers had largely held way was based on Mitchell Marsh‘s impressive 105.

When he fell, given lbw to Mark Steketee when there appeared to be an inside edge, it began something of a slide for Western Australia as their last five wickets fell for 57 – although Hardie provided a very useful 30 to further enhance his credentials – and it always felt as though they would have enough. Now all they could do was wait.

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