WA To Host Third Consecutive Shield Final After Triumph Over Vics

A superb bowling display has put Western Australia into their third straight Marsh Sheffield Shield final, which they will host at the WACA Ground, beating Victoria by 138 runs at the Junction Oval.

Already a sudden-death clash for both sides, the match took on extra significance for WA midway through day three as Tasmania's shock loss to South Australia in Hobart meant the two-time reigning champions could secure top spot for the third consecutive season with victory over Victoria.

And they did so comfortably, opener Cameron Bancroft's gritty 166-ball 58 setting the Vics 269 to win, which they never looked likely troubling on a lively pitch where starting an innings has proved difficult for the entire match.

That was again the case on day three as Joel Paris (2-17), Cameron Gannon (1-47) and Charlie Stobo (1-22) combined to leave the Victoria's chasing reeling at 3-31.

They never recovered despite five dropped catches by WA and a fighting 53 from Campbell Kellaway, knocked out by WA for the third straight season (having lost the last two finals) as they were bowled out for 130 with an hour remaining on day three.

The win gave WA 7.44 points for the match, enough to leapfrog Tasmania (47.36) and into top spot who only managed one first innings bowling bonus point in their loss to South Australia.

WA had battled to 6-119 at stumps the previous evening as seamer Fergus O'Neill (3-45) and off-spinner Todd Murphy (2-19) hauled the hosts back into the contest.

Scott Boland (4-51) did his best to keep them in it when play eventually resumed on day three after the first hour was lost to rain, but Bancroft and No.10 Corey Rocchiccioli (18no off 26 balls) did enough to push WA's lead beyond 250.

The Australia Test squad member bowled unchanged through a shortened first session, snaring all four WA wickets to fall on day three, including a spectacular diving caught-behind by Sam Harper to remove the resolute Bancroft.

Tall left-armer Liam Haskett later snuffed out any chance of a Victorian fightback with the middle-order wickets of Matt Short (15), skipper Will Sutherland (8) and the winning scalp of Kellaway as Rocchiccioli capped splendid home-and-away campaign with the ball to grab two of the last three to boost his tally to 39 for the season.

The result confirms Western Australia will host Tasmania in Perth from March 21-25 with WA gunning for a Sheffield Shield three-peat for the second time in their history.

"It's an amazing feeling in the group right now, amazing that today's result you could either miss a final or host one," WA skipper Sam Whiteman said.

"The bowling group stepped up this week, everyone chipped in at crucial times – Cameron Gannon the first innings with five (wickets) and Liam Haskett in both innings got some important breakthroughs.

"Cameron Bancroft's innings and (his) partnership with Josh Inglis in the second innings was vital to us winning."