Fresh off the back of making a career high 181* in last week’s Cricket Tasmania Premier League Men’s 1st Grade Final at Blundstone Arena last weekend, Tim Ward was rewarded for his efforts with the bat in the form of being presented with his debut Tigers’ cap by fellow UTas teammate, Tim Paine, in Perth earlier today.
After losing the toss and being sent into bat, it was a tough start for the Tasmanian’s however, with the wickets of openers Jordan Silk (11) and Ward (15), as well as Caleb Jewell (12) all falling in the first session.
Captain, Matthew Wade, and Jake Doran steadied the ship after lunch however, batting through the entire session for without the loss of a wicket. Tasmanian were 3-144 at tea and looked to build their lead even further after the break, however, the weather had other ideas. A rain delay followed by a second rain delay and then play finishing early due to bad light, left both Wade (82* off 179 deliveries) and Doran (50* off 152) stranded at stumps.
At stumps, the Tigers are 3-182, with play scheduled to resume at 9am AWST tomorrow to make up for the time lost on day one of play.
Play started at 9am local time to make up for the overs missed yesterday due to poor weather and bad light, and the Tigers’ batters were quick to make the most of it.
Sitting on 82* overnight, skipper Matthew Wade unfortunately couldn’t quite reach the three-figure milestone, departing for 90 after being caught behind off the bowling of Ashton Agar.
Doran – who was on 50* overnight – continued on his merry way, however. After being heartbreakingly close to a ton two matches ago against Victoria (he was dismissed for 98) he went on to make a career-high 123 runs off 288 deliveries, in an innings that featured 11 boundaries, including one six.
Beau Webster’s batting style also seemed well-suited to the West Australian conditions, as he went on to finish unbeaten on 135, at a strike rate of 72.97. Paired with Jackson Bird at the crease, the pair went on to make an incredible 125-run partnership; the highest first class partnerships for the Tigers against the Western Australia at the WACA.
Bird also finished with career-best figures with the bat. After posting a career-high 54 last outing against New South Wales, Bird posted 64 runs at a strike rate of 76.19 today against Western Australia.
In the end the Tigers were dismissed for 514 runs, after being ay the crease for 160 overs.
At stumps, Western Australia sat at 0-46, giving Tasmania a lead of 468 runs with 10 wickets in hand.
We are poised for an enthralling final day of play at the WACA tomorrow, after the Tigers set Western Australia the mammoth target of 480 to win; Tasmania’s third-highest target set in their 44-year history of Sheffield Shield cricket.
Despite Western Australia sitting relatively comfortably on 0-46 overnight, yesterday’s hero with the bat – Beau Webster – struck early with the ball, dismissing both opener Sam Whiteman (42) and the dangerous Shaun Marsh (14) in the first session of the day – both caught behind by Tim Paine.
In fact, the first four wickets to fall in WA’s first innings were all caught behind by the keeper, with Jackson Bird claiming the scalp of Cameron Bancroft (57), and Lawrence Neil-Smith going through young gun, Cameron Green (17). When Jarrod ‘Froggy’ Freeman trapped WA captain, Mitch Marsh, LWB for 24, WA went to lunch at 5-162.
Freeman continued to spin a web with the lower order after lunch, claiming the wickets of Ashton Agar (9), Joel Paris (4) and Lance Morris (1) to finish as the Tigers’ highest wicket-taker for the innings, with figures of 4-72 off 19.1 overs. The West Australians were bowled out for 219 half an hour before tea, giving the visitors a chance to make some quick runs and set an imposing target heading into day four.
Openers Jordan Silk and Tim Ward got off to a relatively conservative start with the bat in the second innings, however once Silk’s wicket fell – for 46 off 72 balls – the middle order began to pick up the pace. Matthew Wade (42 runs off 32 delivers), Jake Doran (7 off 6), Webster (17 off 16) and Paine (22* off 17) all scored at rates in excess of a run a ball, before the Tigers declared at 6-184, roughly 20 minutes before stumps. This meant the West Australians had just over a day to make 480 runs to secure outright victory.
However, when Sam Rainbird ran through Bancroft for 10 on his final ball of just the sixth over of the innings, stumps was called, leaving the hosts sitting on 1-11 overnight, requiring 469 runs for victory with nine wickets in hand.
Tasmania have claimed outright victory over Western Australia at the WACA to finish off the 2020-21 Marsh Sheffield Shield season in style.
Going into the final fixture of the season, Western Australia were still in with a chance of making the Shield Final, and with a few selection headaches for the Tasmanians, the home side arguably had the upper hand.
However, heading into day four of play – where the Tigers needed to take nine wickets whilst the home side needed to make 469 runs for victory – a Tasmanian victory or even a draw seemed the far more likely outcome.
Despite losing the wicket of Cameron Bancroft cheaply just before stumps yesterday, the West Australia’s rallied early on day four, with Sam Whiteman and Shaun Marsh piling on 33 runs relatively quickly before the first wicket of the day fell (Whiteman for 24). Marsh went on to make an innings equal-top score of 54 – matched by his teammate, Joel Paris – but chasing a near-record tally for victory, it wasn’t enough for hosts. Many of West Australian batters got starts – besides Marsh and Inglis, Cameron Green (40) and Joel Paris (48) looked dangerous – but the damage had already been done, with the Tasmanian’s taking the final wicket in the 82nd over, roughly an hour before the scheduled end of play.
Sam Rainbird was the highest wicket-taker for the Tigers in the second innings, finishing with figures of 4-67 off his 16.3 overs, whilst Jackson Bird (3-63 off 18), Lawrence Neil-Smith (2-47 off 12) and Jarrod Freeman (1-78 off 22) also contributed.
Beau Webster was named Player of the Match, finishing with a tally of 152 runs and two wickets.
FULL SCORECARD: cricket.com.au