The Western Warriors have moved to the top of the Bupa Sheffield Shield table after today romping to an eight-wicket win over former table-toppers New South Wales.
The win had WA move to the top of the Shield table with 26pts, two ahead of NSW and South Australia, however, at the time of the Warriors’ victory, the Redbacks were yet to complete their match of the round.
It was a triumph that was crucial to WA’s hopes of playing its first Shield final in 15 years, but was also one that did little to relieve any pressure on the Warriors, who must now make the trip to Queensland to take on the Bulls, before flying to Canberra for a rematch with the Blues.
An outright win in one is a must, while other results could make a win in both a necessity.
Warriors skipper Adam Voges was named Man of the Match for his outstanding performance with the bat, making 155 that helped secure first-innings points and heaping pressure on the Blues, before some steadfast captaincy in the field continued the momentum and found crucial breakthroughs.
“I thought it was a toughly fought three-and-a-half days of first-class cricket,” said a delighted Voges. “The way New South Wales posted a pretty good first-innings total meant that we were going to have to play really well.
“We managed to do that and I thought Jason Behrendorff was outstanding with the ball and I was really pleased to score some runs and play a role with Sammy Whiteman.
“We understood how important this week was,” Voges added. “Taking six points means we’ve put ourselves in a terrific position going into the last two rounds.
“It’s a position we’ve found ourselves in in the past and stumbled at the last hurdle, but we’ll certainly be focused over the next couple of weeks.
“It’ll be a tough road-trip (to Queensland), but I think we’ve won our last three (Sheffield Shield games) now, so we’ll take a lot of confidence and momentum into that trip.”
Voges knows how important winning the Sheffield Shield would be for Western Australian cricket.
“It would mean a lot and it’s something I’ve craved for the past 10 years and, like I mentioned, we’ve stumbled at the last little bit a couple of times now.
“It’s still a way away yet, we understand that and there’s some hard work to do in between, but it’s certainly what I wanted at the start of the season.
“We’ve now played well enough to have an opportunity to try and get there.”
CURRENT SHEFFIELD SHIELD STANDINGS
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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