NSW fall agonisingly short of place in Shield final
Western Australia 9 for 436 dec and 4 for 275 dec beat New South Wales 309 and 396 (Hughes 110, Cowan 80, Henriques 66, Nevill 63, Turner 6-111) by 6 runs
Victoria will play South Australia in the Sheffield Shield final for the second consecutive summer after New South Wales fell seven runs short of victory in a tense finish to the last regular match of the competition in Perth. Chasing 403 to win and gain a place in the decider, the Blues were denied when Peter Nevill reverse-swept and was caught off Ashton Turner for 63.
The six-run win was a fine way for Western Australia to farewell their retiring captain Adam Voges, although South Australia's victory over Tasmania earlier in the day had ended any hopes the Warriors had of jumping from fifth on the table into the final. Instead, Western Australia had to settled for third on the table, with Victoria to host South Australia in the final in Alice Springs.
The final morning began with New South Wales in a vulnerable position at 1 for 6, needing a further 396 in a day to secure a place in the final. But a 161-run second-wicket stand between Ed Cowan and Daniel Hughes was the perfect platform. Cowan fell for 80 when he was bowled by Cameron Green, but he finished on top of the Shield run tally for the regular portion of this season with 959 at 73.76.
Hughes brought up his first century of the Shield season but was caught by Voges off Turner for 110, although further contributions were to come from the New South Wales middle order. Kurtis Patterson made 39 and captain Moises Henriques posted 66, but both men fell to the offspin of Turner and left Nevill marshalling the lower order for the remainder of the chase.
The final partnership began when No.11 Harry Conway joined Nevill with 24 runs still required, although time was also a factor with the number of overs in the day starting to dwindle. Nevill and Conway put on 17 but the drama ended when Nevill reverse-swept on 63 and was caught off the bowling of Turner, who finished with a career-best 6 for 111.