Sheffield Shield final: day three
WA batsman Shaun Marsh. Photo: Graham Tidy
NSW looks to have one hand on the Sheffield Shield after Western Australia failed to make up much ground from a nightmare start to its first-innings run chase, despite a late fightback with the ball on day three of the final at Manuka Oval.
Dismissed for 180 - 267 runs behind - the Warriors left themselves with just the tiniest glimmer of hope thanks to two wickets early in the NSW second innings.
There was a sense of history repeating itself when Ryan Carters fell for a first-ball duck to Jason Behrendorff, falling lbw.
NSW and Australian spinner Nathan Lyon failed to take a wicket but was tidy from his 18 overs.
But unlike Josh Hazelwood on Saturday, he couldn't follow it up with two from two, but Nic Maddinson fell in the next over.
As the momentum seemed to be swinging back to WA, Ben Rohrer and Steven Smith got the Blues going and NSW finished the day 313 runs ahead on 2-46 and needing only a draw to win the Shield.
A 98-run partnership from the Marsh brothers had earlier helped rescue the hopes of WA, but when Shaun was dismissed for 40, the wickets fell steadily, eventually leaving younger brother Mitch stranded on 92.
"Falling short is probably irrelevant, it was just good to spend a bit of time out there at a crucial time," Mitch Marsh said. "It would have been nice to get a few more, but we'll just fight hard [on Monday]."
"We've got to take early wickets and try to apply as much pressure as we can. In saying that, we'll back ourselves to chase a big target, the wicket's really flat, and it's playing nicely so we've certainly got a lot of belief still."
For NSW, Hazelwood (6/50) added another three wickets to those he took late on day two, the paceman taking his first ever six-wicket haul in first class cricket.
Four of those wickets were caught behind by keeper Peter Nevill, who finished with five catches.
"That's more a reflection of the bowling than of me, credit has to go to Josh Hazelwood," Nevill said. "[He] was brilliant with the new ball and the old ball, got conventional swing early, reverse swing late so I can't compliment him enough."
In front of a crowd of nearly 2500, the Warriors started with their backs to the wall when Shaun Marsh and nightwatchman Ryan Duffield resumed at 4/15.
Duffield's dismissal in the sixth over of the session led to the start of the Marsh brothers' partnership.
It was slow going as the brothers tried to rescue the Warriors, but as their partnership approached a century, it was Moises Henriques who finally made the breakthrough, claiming the scalp of Shaun Marsh for 40.
Mitch Marsh survived a bungled run-out opportunity after a comedy of errors from both sides, starting with a running mix up that left him and Sam Whiteman at the batters' end.
With Marsh running to make up the ground, Rohrer threw in short to Carters who fumbled it, allowing Marsh to make his ground.
Whiteman was the next to go, and the wickets continued to fall as Marsh kept the score ticking over, but he finally ran out of partners just eight runs shy of his second first-class century.