Warriors gunning down outright win over Victoria

The Western Warriors will enter the final day’s play against Victoria with their first outright win and full points of the Bupa Sheffield Shield season in sight.

The Warriors today collected first innings points, before enforcing the follow-on and having Victoria 5-272 at stumps on the penultimate day.

The WA attack shared the spoils, with five of the six bowlers to trundle in - Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Michael Hogan, Mitch Marsh and Ashton Agar - taking a wicket, leaving Cameron White (110) and Dan Christian (10) as the not-out batsmen.

It marked another strong showing in what has been a match of consistency for the West Australians, having ended Victoria’s opening stand for 198, still 383 runs behind the home side’s intimidating 8-581 declared.

White did his best for the Bushrangers and, after going for a first-ball duck in the first innings, built a well-crafted century stand, bringing up the ton shortly before stumps in 161 minutes off 110 balls, with 15 fours and a six.

It bookended the day with promising performances by the Bushrangers, after David Hussey resumed play on 76.

He had been stubborn towards the end of Day 2 alongside Clint McKay and the pair opened today in much the same way, digging in and building a partnership that was pushing towards the half-ton before Agar spun his way through the defence, dismissing of the latter for 24 after a chip to Cameron Bancroft at mid-wicket.

David Hussey at a training session at the Adel...

David Hussey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hussey was the first-innings menace though and, 16 balls later, Coulter-Nile got his man, ending a determined 85-run knock by the batsman as he cut to John Rogers running in from third man. It was Coulter-Nile’s fourth and final wicket of the innings as he ended with 4-57 and had Victoria at 9-179.

Fawad Ahmed and Jake Haberfield then came together for a partnership that would have frustrated the West Australians, as the pair soaked up time without doing much damage, contributing just 19 runs from 99 balls and almost an hour at the crease.

The Warriors thought they had ended the stand as Ahmed was dropped at leg slip in the 69th over, but only had to wait another 11 balls as he edged through to wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman off Marcus North, ending the Bushrangers’ first innings for 198.

Victoria had required at least 431 to avoid the follow-on and WA sent the visitors back in to bat and it was Behrendorff that made first inroads, as he did in the first innings, trapping Aaron Finch LBW for 12.

It was a different tale being told to that of the first-innings Bushrangers as Rob Quiney and Peter Handscomb stuck around before their stand was interrupted by a rain delay.

An early tea break combined to a halt in proceedings of more than an hour and it seemed it was enough to disrupt the momentum of the Victorians.

After steadily building a partnership of 49 over 68 minutes, Handscomb sent a top edge off Hogan to Mitch Marsh at mid-on to be gone for 27.

Victoria was 2-63, but refused to capitulate as White dug in with Quiney.

Another handy partnership was built and passed the 50 mark at the same time as Quiney’s personal half-ton, carved from 95 balls with eight fours, but ended in the same over as Mitch Marsh had the skipper play onto his stumps, with the Bushrangers 3-118.

Glenn Maxwell and White took their side’s total past the 150, but Agar ended that stand, too, dislodging the former’s bails with a hit to off-stump. The Bushrangers were 4-190, still trailing by 193, when Hussey returned to the crease. This time, though, he left without making double-figures as a Coulter-Nile short ball had him send a top edge down to Behrendorff at fine leg for nine.

Play continued beyond the 6pm mark before ending at 6:55pm due to the earlier rain delay, with WA well on top and in sight of its first outright win of the season.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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