Western Australia have thrashed New South Wales by eight wickets the WACA to move a step closer to a spot in the Sheffield Shield final.
Western Australian captain Adam Voges has set his sights on the Sheffield Shield final after a commanding eight-wicket victory over NSW.
In a stunning collapse on Sunday, the Blues lost their last six wickets for a paltry three runs in 52 balls on the final morning at the WACA to be all out for 126, having added 24 on day four for a lead of just eight runs.
On a remarkable morning of cricket, the Warriors then slumped to be 2-2, losing Cameron Bancroft (0) and Marcus Harris (2), but were never in trouble of failing to chase the target of nine.
The win allows Western Australia to leapfrog NSW into second spot on the Shield ladder, and strengthens their claims of reaching next month’s final with two rounds of competition remaining.
Earlier, offspinner Marcus North had sparked the NSW collapse by taking 3-9 as he bowled into the footmarks.
Voges, named man of the match for his outstanding 155 which helped WA to a commanding first-innings lead, said he couldn’t have dreamed of the fourth day panning out how it did.
“I haven’t seen too many mornings like that, to be honest,” Voges said.
“Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would play out as it did, but obviously we are very happy in our change rooms at the moment.”
WA are in a good position to make the Shield final with away games to Queensland and NSW to come.
North (832 runs at 92), Voges (685 at 76) and Sam Whiteman (591 at 59) are all in the top-seven run-scorers this season while Michael Hogan (31 wickets at 22) and Jason Behrendorff (25 at 23) are among the top wicket-takers.
The Warriors haven’t delivered a Shield title since 1999, but Voges believes the success of the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League has instilled a belief in the rest of Western Australian cricket.
“I’ve got no doubt that our success in the Big Bash has created a real buzz around the WACA at the moment,” Voges said.
“It’s something we have worked bloody hard for over the last 10 years to try and achieve and, now that we have had a small taste, hopefully we can continue that on.”
NSW are two points behind the top two, but captain and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill hasn’t giving up hosting, let alone playing, the Shield final – with games against-first placed South Australia and the Warriors again in the final two rounds.
“If we perform well in those two games, then it should go a long way to making, or hosting, the final,” Nevill said.
“Our fate is in our own hands.”