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March 4, 2012
Victoria 277 and 8 for 390 dec (Rogers 124, Quiney 66, Beer 3-89) beat Western Australia 301 and 154 (Coulter-Nile 44*, Sheridan 5-15, Herrick 3-66) by 212 runs
William Sheridan's first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket kept Victoria in the race for a spot in the Sheffield Shield final as they beat Western Australia at the WACA. The Warriors took first-innings points but fell 213 runs short of their victory target of 367 as Sheridan destroyed the top order, and the result has left the points table delicately poised with one round remaining.
Western Australia are on top and could have secured their place in the final with victory in this match, but Victoria's win means the Warriors could still miss out. Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland are all four points behind Western Australia and it is not out of the question that all four teams could finish the campaign level on points.
Victoria added 29 to their overnight total on the fourth morning and declared at 8 for 390, and Western Australia made an encouraging start to the chase by reaching 0 for 63. But Sheridan collected five wickets in 20 deliveries to change the course of the match, starting with the tournament's leading run scorer, Liam Davis, for 38.
Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Craig Simmons and Luke Ronchi all fell for ducks and left far too much work for the lower order, and although Nathan Coulter-Nile made an unbeaten 44 the Warriors were bowled out for 154. Sheridan finished with 5 for 15 and Jayde Herrick picked up three wickets.
The last round of matches, which starts on Thursday, will decide both finalists, with the fourth-placed Victoria to host the fifth-placed New South Wales, who cannot make the decider, at the MCG; the third-placed Tasmania to host the ladder leaders Western Australia; and the second-placed Queensland, to play at home against South Australia, who will finish last
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