Tasmania 206 and 2 for 63 (Johnson 2 for 16) trail Western Australia 176 and 4 for 437 declared (Davis 135, Voges 150*) by 344 runs

Western Australia batted Tasmania to the fringes of the contest before Mitchell Johnson struck twice in the final session to set the Warriors on the path towards outright points on day three of the Sheffield Shield match at the WACA ground.

The Tigers were 2 for 63 at stumps in pursuit of a distant 408 to win, though Ricky Ponting had shown a confident array of strokes in his unbeaten 36.

Adam Voges, owner of a modest batting record on his home ground, drove on relentlessly to an undefeated 150 by the time the WA captain Marcus North declared, after Liam Davis had added 35 to his overnight 100.

The Warriors did not bat with any undue haste, preferring to make the Tigers sweat in the field then capitalise on the heavy legs of the top order batsmen when they took to the field in the final hour. The former Tiger Travis Birt demonstrated a particularly careful approach in his 44.

Johnson, who had struggled at times for rhythm and also battled a rolled ankle in the first innings, responded by nipping out the Tasmanian openers Nick Kruger and Ed Cowan before stumps. Kruger fenced at a ball outside off stump and was taken in the slips, before Cowan was late on a drive and bowled.

Ponting fired off a string of smart pull and hook shots, including consecutive sixes from the bowling of Michael Hogan, as he reached 36 from a mere 32 balls before the close. Tasmania's hopes of escaping with a draw or an unlikely victory will revolve largely around him, the captain George Bailey and the next man in, Mark Cosgrove.