Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth
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Western Australia 5 for 175 (Turner 49*, Hardie 45, Sutherland 4-44) trail Victoria 195 (Chandrasinghe 46*) by 20 runs
Veteran Ashton Turner powered Western Australia out of trouble with cavalier batting to thwart Victoria's fightback during a truncated day two of the Sheffield Shield final at the WACA.
Turner defied tough batting conditions on a green-tinged surface as WA reached stumps at 5 for 175 in their first innings to trail Victoria by 20 runs.
The final session was marred by a 90-minute rain delay before bad light ultimately ended the day's play. Rain is forecast on Saturday and Sunday.
Turner's aggressiveness contrasted with his subdued batting last week against Victoria in his return to first-class cricket after a near three-year exile.
"The experience and calmness he brings along with the leadership qualities...we saw that today," WA coach Adam Voges said of Turner. "To be able to counterpunch the way he did...I thought it was outstanding."
Victoria were dismissed for 195 early on day two with opener Ashley Chandrasinghe carrying his bat after making 46 from 280 balls. They will need to win the match outright having been unable to claim a bonus point in their innings while WA claimed the full allotment.
For the second straight final, a draw will be enough for WA as they eye a historic treble of domestic titles.
Quick bowler Lance Morris, in his first match since the BBL two months ago having missed selection on Australia's Test tour of India, enjoyed a successful return with 3 for 53 from 20 overs.
WA's first innings started well with prolific opening pair Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman weathering typically miserly bowling from Test quick Scott Boland in overcast conditions. Bancroft was somewhat doing a Chrandrasinghe impression in a stonewall as he scored just six runs off his first 33 deliveries faced.
Will Sutherland continued his terrific season with a gem of a delivery to have Whiteman caught behind for 20 just before lunch.
Boland proved almost unplayable after the break with his first four overs only costing a leg-bye as Bancroft and teenager Teague Wyllie dug in. Bancroft, the Shield's leading run-scorer this season, tried to pounce on rare loose deliveries from Boland but a flick off his pads went straight to leg-gully.
It was a somewhat familiar dismissal from Bancroft in an astute field placing from Victoria captain Peter Handscomb, whose canny tactics were further rewarded when Wyllie was caught at leg-slip off Sutherland.
Victoria were on a roll when Mitchell Perry took an outrageous high-flying catch at point to dismiss in-form Hilton Cartwright as WA lost 3 for 1.
But Turner decided to counterattack much like countless rescue jobs he has performed as skipper of two-time BBL defending champions Perth Scorchers.
He particularly fancied his chances against short-pitched bowling from impressive young quick Perry, as he quickly changed the game's momentum.
The belligerent approach was occasionally fraught with danger as Turner edged a boundary through the slips to motor to 28 off 20 balls.
His attacking instincts rubbed off on Hardie, who has had an inconsistent season with the bat but does seemingly have a knack of mustering his best when WA is in trouble. But he struggled restarting after the rain break and played a rash stroke off Sutherland to fall for 45.
Philippe shrugged off indifferent form with fluent strokes and combined well with Turner as WA finished day two in the box seat.
"They're probably just in front, especially with the bonus points situation," said Sutherland, who finished with 4 for 44 from 15 overs. "They probably got away from us a bit. If we can stem the flow, just chip away and then hopefully bowl them out with them just a little bit in front."
Victoria had started the day's play at 8 for 194 with all eyes on 21-year-old Chandrasinghe. He continued to defend stoutly even though time was running out for Victoria to claim bonus points awarded for every run over 200 in the first 100 overs.
Having claimed two wickets on the opening day, Morris eyed finishing the innings quickly. He started with a bouncer to Todd Murphy before another short-pitched delivery accounted for the tailender.
Boland fell shortly after to quick Matthew Kelly leaving Chandrasinghe as just the second batter behind Jamie Cox to carry his bat in a Shield final.
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