Western Australia v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, Perth, 3rd day February 21, 2010

Warriors stumble in chase of 275 for victory

Cricinfo staff

Western Australia 233 and 2 for 40 need 235 runs to beat Tasmania 261 and 246 (Marsh 60, Knowles 3-60)

Western Australia must score the biggest total of the match to overtake Tasmania after they were set 275 for victory at the WACA. The Tigers were dismissed late on the third day for 246 and the Warriors knocked 40 from their target in 16 overs but lost both openers to Adam Maher.

Liam Davis edged to third slip on 13 shortly before stumps and Wes Robinson (20) went lbw in the second last over. The nightwatchman Nathan Coulter-Nile and the captain Marcus North will start again on the final morning.

Both teams want a win to keep the pressure on the leaders Victoria and Queensland, but Tasmania were battling in their second innings until Daniel Marsh arrived with a crucial contribution of 60. Marsh lifted the pace after Tim Paine (27) and Xavier Doherty (0) departed quickly and surged them forward from the trouble of 6 for 135.

A six came off Steve Magoffin and Marsh also found the boundary eight times before he fell to Luke Pomersbach just before tea. Adam Griffith added 25 before he was bowled by Brad Knowles and Brendan Drew extended the lead with a valuable 39. Knowles led the hosts with 3 for 60 while Coulter-Nile and North chipped in with two victims each.

Tasmania, who earned a 28-run lead on first innings, resumed on 1 for 31, and lost Alex Doolan (10) when he offered no shot to Magoffin. George Bailey managed a single in his 37-ball innings and there was further trouble when Ed Cowan left with 41 after chipping a catch back to the bowler North.

The Warriors are fifth on 12 points, one behind Tasmania, and eight from the second-placed Bulls. A tense final day on a pitch still being kind to the bowlers will determine which side stays in contention.