New South Wales to host Shield final
New South Wales 186 and 7 for 213 (Smith 89, North 3-61) beat Western Australia 82 and 316 by 3 wickets
New South Wales will host the Sheffield Shield final in Canberra after their captain Steven Smith played a key role in steering them to a tense three-wicket win over Western Australia.
However, the Warriors finished the match knowing that they could well be the other team in next week's decider - the only other contenders were Queensland, who were facing an uphill battle to earn the necessary win over Victoria in Melbourne.
The final morning at Manuka Oval began with New South Wales needing 110 more runs to reach their target of 213 and secure the home final; Western Australia required eight wickets for a win of their own, which would have set up a WACA decider.
The loss of Ben Rohrer, Kurtis Patterson and Peter Nevill before the total had reached 140 gave Western Australia hope, and Marcus North then chipped in with his third wicket, that of Sean Abbott, to leave the Blues six wickets down and still 55 runs from their goal.
But Smith kept the runs coming for New South Wales, although his departure for 89 on the stroke of lunch left New South Wales needing 25 more runs after the break from their final four batsmen. Steve O'Keefe (31 not out) and Nathan Lyon (8 not out) got them home to secure the win.
The final will be held at Manuka Oval in Canberra because the SCG is unavailable due to a Major League Baseball game. Four teams entered the final round with a chance of reaching the decider, but South Australia's loss to Tasmania ruled them out on Thursday.
After the match, Cricket Australia said in a statement that Lyon and Shaun Marsh had each been fined 20% of their match fee following an incident that occurred during Western Australia's second innings. Lyon won an lbw call against Marsh from umpire Paul Wilson, who then signalled that he was overturning his own decision and called Marsh back to the crease.
Marsh appeared to show the edge of his bat to Wilson before the overturning, which led to Marsh being reported under the Code of Behaviour for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision". Lyon responded by kicking the stumps at the bowler's end, which brought a report for "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings".