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21st Match, Perth, February 03 - 06, 2024, Sheffield Shield
(T:182) 251 & 182/6

NSW won by 4 wickets

Player Of The Match
3/33 & 6/83

Chris Green six-for puts New South Wales in front

NSW are firmly in the box seat to claim their first Shield victory in Perth since late 2018

Chris Green took career-best figures of 6 for 83  •  Getty Images

Chris Green took career-best figures of 6 for 83  •  Getty Images

Stumps New South Wales 251 and 77 for 1 (Nikitaras 39*, Hughes 27*, Rocchiccioli 1-39) trail Western Australia 256 and 176 (Bancroft 36, Green 6-83, Hatcher 2-26, Tremain 2-28) by 105 runs
Offspinner Chris Green starred on the pace-friendly WACA ground with a six-wicket haul on day three as New South Wales closed in on a pivotal Sheffield Shield victory over defending champions Western Australia.
Chasing 182, after bowling out WA for 176, NSW were 77 for 1 at stumps and needing a further 105 runs. Blake Nikitaras and Daniel Hughes thwarted WA with an unbroken 59-run partnership.
After Green's heroics, and having claimed four wickets in NSW's first innings, offspinner Corey Rocchiccioli came into the attack in just the fifth over and found bounce to trouble left-handers Nikitaras and Ryan Hackney.
Hackney was all at sea and tried to break the shackles, but miss-hit a short Rocchiccioli delivery to point. Nikitaras countered by playing Rocchiccioli aggressively and slogged a couple of sixes over long-on to dent WA's bid for more inroads.
Left-arm quick Joel Paris, who bowled superbly in NSW's first innings, tried his best to conjure a late wicket but was left frustrated after several appeals were turned down.
WA's hopes of defending the low total have been made harder without quick Matt Kelly, who on day two suffered a pectoral muscle injury. Kelly only got through seven overs having made his domestic season debut after being sidelined with a calf injury.
NSW are on the cusp of a season sweep over WA, who sat fractionally behind Tasmania on the table before this round with the Blues not far behind in fourth place amid a congested table.
After wearing down a shorthanded WA attack on day two, NSW resumed their first innings at 244 for 7 and trailing by just 12 runs. But their hopes of a handy lead evaporated as they lost 3 for 7 with quick Charlie Stobo enjoying the satisfaction of dismissing Green after they were at the centre of WA's contentious appeal for obstructing the field late on day two.
NSW's bid to restrict WA's lead seemingly rested on quick Jackson Bird, who claimed three wickets on day one as he relentlessly targeted the divots on the grassy surface.
But openers Sam Whiteman, in a confident mood after hitting a brilliant century in WA's first innings, and Cameron Bancroft thwarted the new ball as they rattled off a half-century opening partnership.
But Whiteman on 27 was clean bowled by quick Chris Tremain before Green started his starring performance with the wicket of Jayden Goodwin just before lunch.
Bancroft and Hilton Cartwright were shackled by Bird and allrounder Jack Edwards in a slow passage after the break. Things livened up when the sprinklers went off on the ground causing a brief delay even though the pitch did not get wet.
It seemed to spark the match into action as WA lost 4 for 20 with Green taking three of the wickets. But it was Tremain who claimed the pivotal wicket of Bancroft, who had a rare lapse in concentration and top-edged a pull shot to fine-leg.
It was a disappointment for Bancroft, who had recently been overlooked to replace David Warner in Australia's Test team. He scored 36 off 108 balls having made 42 in the first innings.
Stobo decided to counterattack and smashed Green for six over mid-on that caused another delay with the ball thundering into the rubble amid the ground's long-awaited redevelopment.
WA were in danger of being bowled out for around 150, but were given a lift from Rocchiccioli who whacked 28 off 11 balls before falling to Green, who picked up his sixth wicket.
It's left NSW firmly in the box seat to claim their first Shield victory in Perth since late 2018.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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