Western Australia v Victoria, Sheffield Shield, Perth, 3rd day November 23, 2008

North's century rescues Warriors again

Cricinfo staff

Western Australia 239 and 7 for 290 (North 141, Voges 52, Wright 5-35) lead Victoria 326 (Rogers 115, Wade 68, Dorey 5-104) by 203 runs

Marcus North scored a century to bail Western Australia out of trouble for the second time in the match, setting up an intriguing finish on the final day at the WACA. At stumps on the third day, the Warriors had a lead of 203 but with only three wickets in hand, Victoria were in with a strong chance of pulling off a run-chase.

The day began with the Bushrangers on 238 for 8, needing only two runs to secure first-innings points, but they got much more. Matthew Wade, the Bushrangers' 20-year old wicketkeeper, extended his overnight score of 16 to 68 and shared a 65-run stand with Peter Siddle for the ninth wicket. Siddle contributed 38 to the partnership and, after he was dismissed, Wade added 46 more with Dirk Nannes to take the total to 326 and the lead to 87.

The Warriors were in trouble early in their second innings with Damien Wright nipping out Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach after Nannes had dismissed Luke Ronchi. The hosts had lost their top three wickets and still trailed by 37 runs. North had begun his innings in a similar situation in the first innings - 29 for 3 - and he began to fire fight once again. North rebuilt the innings with Adam Voges, who scored 52, and they wiped out the deficit during the course of their 114-run partnership.

North found more support from David Bandy who scored 48 out of a partnership of 119 which extended Warriors' lead to 196 with six wickets in hand. However, North didn't survive until stumps and his wicket - caught at slip for 141 - triggered another collapse during which the Warriors lost 3 for 3.

Nannes and Wright, who finished with 5 for 35, were the bowlers who brought Bushrangers strongly back into the contest and the key to their chances will hinge on how quickly they can get rid of the Warriors' tail on Monday morning.