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RESULT
Final, Perth, March 21 - 24, 2024, Sheffield Shield
PrevNext
(T:538) 186 & 160

West Aust won by 377 runs

Player Of The Match
104
sam-whiteman
Player Of The Series
938 runs • 30 wkts
beau-webster
Live
Updated 24-Mar-2024 • Published 21-Mar-2024

Live Report: Western Australia vs Tasmania, Sheffield Shield final: WA aiming for hat-trick

By Andrew McGlashan

Awards and presentations...

Beau Webster was previously confirmed as player of the season. Sam Whiteman is named player of the match.
Jordan Silk: "Beau, it's probably one of the best season's I've seen in Shield cricket. Really proud of you. To our guys, a really great season. We were probably underdogs at the start of the season and to get to this position is something I'm really proud. Hopefully this fueling the hunger. Lastly, to Wadey, it's been a pleasure to play cricket with you for Tassie. I know how much it meant to come back and play for Tassie. You should be incredibly proud of your career."
Sam Whiteman and the WA team get their hands on the Sheffield Shield (again). It's quite the legacy they are building. Not sure we'll hear from Whiteman right now, but we'll have his thoughts on the site later. I'll wrap up the live blog there. Thanks for your company over the last few days and throughout the Australian season across all the various competitions. We'll be back to do it again in September. Until then, winter well down under.
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WA are champions! A hat-trick of titles

Western Australia have done it, and in style. They win by 377 runs. A flying catch in the gully by Joel Paris to give Cameron Gannon his fifth wicket. A hat-trick of Sheffield Shield titles. What a team they are.
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One wicket needed

Western Australia are nearly there. Four overs left in the day
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WA surging towards title!

Western Australia are on the brink and look hungry to get this done tonight. Cameron Gannon has struck twice in three balls - Beau Webster carving high into the off side then Jarrod Freeman trapped lbw to complete a pair.
And play will be extended. WA have made the request and it's been granted. So they'll have eight more overs to win this tonight
2

Tasmania five down

Western Australia have half the wickets they need. Eight overs remaining today. Two more wickets and they can probably claim the extra 30 minutes.

Stobo strikes!

Jordan Silk had played a positive hand, but he has edged Charlie Stobo through to the keeper to leave Tasmania four down. There's an hour left to play today. WA probably need to have Tasmania seven down for the umpires to allow the extra half an hour.

Could this finish tonight?

The new ball is doing plenty of Cameron Gannon and Joel Paris. Tasmania are already three down. After Wade nicked off, Charlie Wakim was pinned lbw by Paris and Caleb Jewell caught behind off Gannon who has had an outstanding match. How much fight do Tasmania have left?
1

Wade's first-class career comes to end

9187 Matthew Wade's final tally of first-class runs
And for the final time, Matthew Wade walks off the field in first-class cricket. He went in aggressive fashion, which is kind of fitting, as he used his feet to Cameron Gannon and edged through to the keeper. There was warm applause from the crowd as he left the field. He ends with 9187 first-class runs at 40.47.
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Tasmania have a target...

538 To win the match and the Sheffield Shield
Fair to say, that's a tall order. By my maths, the asking rate is around 4.40 an over. Four sessions to get them in. (Western Australia need a draw or 10 wickets). The end of WA's innings also brought the tea interval.
Here's Tristan from the WACA
WA grinded Tasmania into the WACA turf as the final has all but been decided.
Tasmania would have hoped to be batting a lot earlier, but WA's lower-order showed off their batting prowess to completely frustrate the Tigers. WA bat right down the order and they made Tasmania toil. Tasmania bowled with a lot more discipline today, but it's likely all too late.
The surface has held up well, but it is playing tricks. Charlie Stobo was bowled by a delivery that crept low, while Joel Paris was dismissed by a ball that reared off the surface. Those dismissals should spook Tasmania.
There are less people in attendance than yesterday, with the crowd set to thin out in the afternoon with local AFL team West Coast Eagles playing at nearby Optus Stadium.
But a few of them did say they will scurry back to the WACA if Tasmania lose a slew of wickets. Most likely they won't have to stress and can rock up tomorrow for what appears a certain WA coronation.
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The lead...

500
5
5
2

The waiting game

Tasmania's bowlers have stuck at it very well in this innings. They've beaten the bat a lot and with a little more luck might have bowled Western Australia out for 250 and given themselves a sniff.
The home side's lower order aren't in any rush so no sign of a declaration. A target of 500 would be a nice round number for them, but all signs are they will just wait to be bowled out.

Lunch, day four: Cartwright miss ton but WA miles ahead

Western Australia 347 and 301 for 7 lead Tasmania 186 by 462 runs
Tasmania have bowled well this morning but they were so far behind the match that it is unlikely to make a difference. Moments before the break Beau Webster jagged one back to remove Hilton Cartwright lbw when he shouldered arms.
Here's Tristan Lavalette from the WACA:
That was a more dramatic session than most of the fans were expecting when they rocked up to the ground this morning. Adam Voges laid the blueprint for WA at last night's press conference by saying that they would bat big in a bid to totally shut Tasmania out of the contest.
But that has not been easy against a second new ball that seamed around. Beau Webster had a rollercoaster session with two sharp catches, but he also dropped a chance and then was left exasperated when the bail did not dislodge after bowling a cracker to Hilton Cartwright. The WA players on the team's balcony could not believe their eyes, with a few of them rushing into the room to watch a replay.
Cartwright showed his knack for the big stage having made a fifty in the first innings to go along with a match-winning half-century in the Marsh Cup final. It's been a remarkable effort considering Cartwright has mostly struggled this season and he's also persisted through a finger injury in recent weeks.
But Webster finally had the last laugh to end Cartwright's dreams of a century to cap an entertaining session although WA remain on track for another title.
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Tasmania chip away, but lead is huge

There was the rare sight earlier of Beau Webster dropping a catch when he gave Cooper Connolly a life at second slip. He has just (partly) made amends by taking a low chance off Iain Carlisle as Connolly went for another drive. But with the lead approaching 450 it's into needing a miracle areas for Tasmania. Hilton Cartwright, meanwhile continues to play very nicely as he approaches a century, although he may have had a huge stroke of luck...

A blinder from Beau!

Beau Webster has added to his tally of catches for the season with a stunning at leg slip to remove Aaron Hardie via an inside edge against Jarrod Freeman. Tasmania have been trying to rattle towards the new ball this morning and have a wicket just before it becomes available, although it feels too little, too late.

Will WA aim to bat all day?

Hello everyone and welcome to the fourth day of the Sheffield Shield final from the WACA. Western Australia can almost put both hands on the prize. They are miles ahead in this game. They can pretty much do as they wish as well given a draw is enough for them. How much of a motivation will be an outright win? Hard to see them declaring before tea if they don't get bowled out.
When should WA declare if they have the chance
108 votes
Lunch
Tea
Stumps
Never
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Stumps, day three: WA almost out of sight

Western Australia 347 and 221 for 3 lead Tasmania 186 by 382 runs
Another day of complete dominance for Western Australia with the stand between Hilton Cartwright and Aaron Hardie putting them nearly 400 in front. It's entirely down to the home side how big of a lead they want if Tasmania can't take seven more wickets. The title is WA's with a draw. The new ball is due in nine overs, but it feels like it will be too late for the visitors.
Here's Tristan from the WACA (full report to follow):
It appears only a matter of time before Western Australia are crowned with a third straight title after grabbing a stranglehold on day three. Although with WA in no rush at the crease, with a draw enough, the final appears headed for a fifth day, which most observers at the WACA did not think likely before the match.
It will be interesting to see if WA will think about declaring at some point on day four or just bat until they are bowled out. As has been the case this season at the WACA, the surface has not deteriorated but Tasmania have been unable to consistently conjure bounce and seam movement.
Tasmania tried to spice things up with a short-ball assault late in the day, but had little reward. When that didn't work they seemed a bit despondent in the field with their title hopes hanging by a thread.
It was slow going at times through the afternoon, but a strong crowd of 2467 had a merry time in the terraces with WA closing in on a title.
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Cartwright's important double

After what had been a relatively lean Sheffield Shield season, Hilton Cartwright has picked a vital time to have a big impact. He played positively in the first innings for his half-century (albeit giving it away in the end) and in the second has kept Tasmania at bay to grow WA's lead to handsome proportions. He's had to work hard, especially against the short bowling, but has played some excellent shot
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Daunting lead...

300 Western Australia's advantage
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Short ball tactic works!

Riley Meredith came out after tea and went after the batters with short stuff, and the plan paid off...from the other end by Iain Carlisle. A well-directed bouncer around leg stump enticed Goodwin into a hook and it took the glove through to Jake Doran who took a good catch. The lead is approaching 300, so this could be the last big push from Tasmania to give themselves an outside chance.

Tea, day three: Goodwin, Cartwright steady

Western Australia 347 and 112 for 2 lead Tasmania 186 by 273 runs
Western Australia have consolidated their bowling efforts and remain in complete control of the final. Jayden Goodwin has played solidly and Hilton Cartwright has again produced some aggressive shots as he did in the first innings. Tasmania need a bundled of wickets in the last session to have any hope of a target they can chase
Here's Tristan from the WACA:
WA continue to strengthen their grip on the Shield title. As expected, they are taking their time at the crease and steadily building the lead. There is no reason for them to declare, but it will be interesting to see what they do given they want to win the title outright.
Much like Cooper Connolly, D'Arcy Short proved an inspired selection with two solid scores in this match. He looked much more fluent and in command in this innings after riding his luck with a half-century on day one. Short justified the faith of the selectors, who also were considering Teague Wyllie or elevating Jayden Goodwin up the order. It was an impressive effort considering Short had not opened at the first-class level since late 2019.
Short has done a more than serviceable job replacing Cameron Bancroft, who is recovering well from concussion after a bike accident last weekend. He was sighted at the WACA nets having a hit.
Tasmania's quicks have not been able to generate the type of dangerous bounce and seam movement of their WA counterattacks. Riley Meredith bent his back to hit speeds around 140kph without reward. They desperately need a slew of wickets after tea.
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From spin to seam works for Webster

88 Runs scored by D'Arcy Short in this match
Beau Webster had been bowling his offspin on a surface offering turn, but a switch back to seam-up brought the breakthrough with D'Arcy Short edging to the line slip fielder as he tried to ride some extra bounce. Short has done an excellent job in this match having had to fill the big shoes of Cameron Bancroft. Tasmania need another two wickets quickly to be back in the match.

Away from the WACA for a moment...

With things a little sedate while WA go about extending their lead, a reminder that it's Pat Cummins vs Mitchell Starc in the IPL tonight. And here's Steven Smith on how he thinks Cummins will go as a T20 captain.

No time pressure for WA

We are approaching the midway point of the match: the middle of the second session on day three. It's been a quiet start to the second innings for Western Australia whose first priority will be avoid any significant losses that would bring Tasmania back into the match. There's no time pressure for the home side given they have the lead on first-innings bonus points so a draw is now enough for them to claim the title.

Lunch, day three: Tasmania strike but WA well ahead

Lunch Western Australia 347 and 25 for 1 lead Tasmania 186 by 186 runs
Gabe Bell has given Tasmania a boost on the stroke of lunch by claiming the key wicket of Sam Whiteman. Does that give the visitors a glimmer of hope?
Here's Tristan Lavalette from the WACA:
WA have one hand on the Shield after continuing to overwhelm Tasmania, who now need an outright win to claim the title.
Tasmania have been overmatched in all facets. A big contrast has been the fielding with Tasmania ruing costly missed opportunities on day one, while WA have been outstanding in the field and with their catching.
WA's experience on this stage has come to the fore, but you feel like Tasmania have completely underperformed so far. They'll hope the wicket of Sam Whiteman can provide a spark. It isn't easy to bat but the surface does not tend to deteriorate notably at the WACA. There is sharp bounce, but whether Tasmania's quicks can exploit that remains to be seen.
They'll also need Jarrod Freeman to step up and replicate Corey Rocchiccioli, who put in a lionhearted effort as he battles the flu.
WA will be striving for an outright victory, they won't want to merely draw. But they have plenty of time as Tasmania are now faced with climbing a mountain.

Is there a way back for Tasmania?

What could Tasmania realistically chase?
73 votes
300
350
400
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Rocchiccioli wraps it up

Corey Rocchiccioli has finished with four wickets with Western Australia taking a huge lead of 161 into their second innings. Iain Carlisle was last batter out when he got a thin edge to a nicely-pitched offbreak.
About an hour before the close yesterday, Tasmania were 141 for 3. They have lost their last seven wickets for 45 and it's hard to see a way back into the match for them. They would need to skittle WA for around 150 to have a chase of 300. But don't think batting is going to get easier on this surface.

Connolly's flashes of Shaun Marsh

As we wait for Tasmania's first innings to be wrapped up - and Iain Carlisle is showing some pluck with the bat - will just take you back to yesterday morning when Cooper Connolly completed his impressive debut innings. He spoke to reporters after the second day.
Connolly's first-class debut had been a while coming. He missed out on WA's season-opener against Victoria after breaking a toe during a freak accident on a boat.
He returned in the BBL for Perth Scorchers and was also part of WA's Marsh Cup triumph against New South Wales, but he had not been able to squeeze into the Shield team.
Strong performances for Scarborough and an understandable desire from WA's hierarchy to give him a chance led to Connolly being a surprise inclusion in the Shield final.
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Awful start for Tasmania!

Well, that couldn't have started any worse for Tasmania. Jarrod Freeman has been run out from the second ball of the day. Bradley Hope played the ball towards mid-off, Freeman was very slow to respond and even though the throw from D'Arcy Short wasn't great, Josh Inglis had time to break the stumps.

Can Tasmania's lower order save them?

Welcome to day three from the WACA. It feels like there's only one winner of this final at the moment. But Tasmania's lower order has come to the fore at times this season. They have to do it again today.
"The way we've played all year, we've thought we can come back from anywhere," Tasmania opener Caleb Jewell said last night. "We would like to maybe get another 100 from here. But if not, we'll see what we can do."
A huge amount rests on Bradley Hope and Jarrod Freeman, with the three pace bowlers to come. Something like this would come in handy.
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Stumps, day two: WA in complete control

Tasmania 152 for 6 trail Western Australia 347 by 195 runs
Western Australia are well placed for a hat-trick of titles after a very strong finish to the second day at the WACA. It couldn't really have ended worse for Tasmania as they lost player of the season Beau Webster and captain Jordan Silk in the dying moments. They will need a huge effort from the lower order to stay in the game. The new ball will be due in five overs.
Here's Tristan Lavalette from the WACA (full report to follow):
Western Australia grabbed control at stumps on day two and were rewarded for a sustained attack on a tricky surface.
With divots evident, WA's quicks menaced and they produced sharp bounce to constantly be a handful. Towering quick Cameron Gannon was particularly dangerous to continue his stunning late season form.
As expected, spinner Corey Rocchiccioli was a handful and he is set to be a dangerman for the rest of the match. WA have been relentless and they will feel satisfied having at times being left frustrated with a number of loud appeals being turned out.
The rowdy fans in the terraces - with a strong crowd of 1852 in attendance - were starting to get agitated until the late wickets of Jordan Silk and Beau Webster put WA in the box seat.
Tasmania's tactics were somewhat strange as they crawled through their innings. It means Tasmania are almost no chance of overtaking WA on bonus points and they'll need to win the match outright to end their 11-year title drought.
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And another. Silk goes!

A horror few minutes for Tasmania and their title hopes are fading fast. Having made 30 off 112 balls, Jordan Silk has gloved Cameron Gannon down the leg side. Josh Inglis with a super one-handed catch.
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Webster goes! Is that the final?

Beau Webster has gone! A huge moment in this match. He'd just found the boundary for the first time with a strong clip through midwicket, but playing forward to Cameron Gannon got a thick inside edge that ballooned off his pad and carried all the way to square leg. Tasmania still a long way behind. Western Australia will have a new ball early tomorrow morning.
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Huge let-off for Silk?

It looked like WA had back-to-back wickets, but Jordan Silk has been given not out to what appeared an top edge against Cameron Gannon attempting to drive. The home side couldn't believe the decision. No DRS available in this match. You could see the ball deviate off the edge. How important will that prove?
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Hardie strikes in big moment

Jordan Silk and Jake Doran were starting to build a solid partnership, with the latter beginning to find the boundary, but Aaron Hardie has produced a good piece of bowling from around the wicket to castle Doran. It leaves Tasmania still more then 200 behind and at risk of that previously mentioned wobble having not scored at a great rate. Beau Webster is in the middle now, and the fate of the final could rest on his shoulders. But the pressure is on late in the day.

Thoughts of Adam Voges

The Western Australia coach has just spoken to Fox Cricket. He termed the game "an arm wrestle" at the moment with the ball now quite soft. But he also noted that there were some divots forming on the surface which could play a role as the game develops.

Tasmania's gameplan

We are still only in day two, but worth pondering where Tasmania can take this game given the way they've set their stall out in this innings. There's almost no chance of them overtaking WA on bonus points now given the 100-over cut-off for those, so they are going to have to win the game to take the title. They haven't really looked to put much pressure back on the bowlers, so risk being in trouble if they lose quick wickets. Looks like they just want to bat as long as possible in the first innings and see where that takes them.

Plenty of lbw shouts!

There's been no shortage of appeals since tea, but so far nothing going Western Australia's way. Joel Paris has just been denied an especially close one against Jake Doran which could easily have been given. Tasmania being made to work to battle for every run. They are scoring at just over two an over. Will be interesting to see how Beau Webster plays when he gets to the crease.

Next in line for Australia?

Here's a question: it's a while until Australia play Tests again, but if Nathan Lyon was injured, who should be the next spinner selected? Here are the Sheffield Shield numbers of the last two seasons
Have your say...(some of the names in the poll not shown above)
Who should be the next spinner in line for Australia's Test XI?
156 votes
Corey Rocchiccioli
Todd Murphy
Mitchell Swepson
Adam Zampa
Tanveer Sangha
Matt Kuhnemann
Someone else

Rocchiccioli rocks Tasmania on tea

Day 2 Tea Tasmania 95 for 3 (Jewell 45, Rocchiccioli 2-26) trail Western Australia 347 (Whiteman 104, Connolly 90, Carlisle 3-65, Freeman 3-103) by 252 runs
Here is Tristan Lavalette from the WACA
Western Australia's attack has been unrelenting and deserved that wicket of Caleb Jewell just before tea.
The surface has notably quickened up and the steep bounce is causing problems for the batters. There is also sharp turn on offer for Corey Rocchiccioli, who is something of a WACA specialist and took both wickets in the session. He looms as the dangerman in this match.
WA's pressure has been immense and it was all too much for Charlie Wakim, who succumbed with a rash stroke. You could see that wicket building.
Aaron Hardie is on restricted bowling duties but has looked sharp in his five overs. It will be interesting to see how many overs he'll bowl.
Tasmania have tried to hold firm, but the wicket of Jewell will hurt. The final session will be pivotal with clumps of wickets often falling late in the day on this ground.
Tasmania will be relying on skipper Jordan Silk to fight it out and be there at stumps.

Wade gives commentator's curse as Rocchiccioli strikes

Matthew Wade spoke to Fox Cricket about the state of the game: "We didn't start the way that we wanted too, winning the toss and bowling. We didn't get it right with the ball but we've got a lot of guys that haven't played in finals so they'll learn a lot from the first hour and a half yesterday when we didn't quite get it right. And apart from that we've been really good with the ball and in the contest most of the game so far. WA have bowled terrific here in the first little bit of our batting innings and we've found a way to get through one down so we're right in the game here. If this partnership develops for a little bit longer it'd be nice. Hopefully I don't give the commentators curse here."
Sure enough, an over later Charlie Wakim fell. Wade had earlier praised him for being positive against Corey Rocchiccioli on a pitch that Wade said is spinning and bouncing. But that aggression brought about his downfall. Wakim skipped down to Rocchiccioli but didn't quite get to the pitch and miscued a lofted drive straight down the throat of Hilton Cartwright at long-on. Rocchiccioli looms as a big threat to Tasmania's middle-order.
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Jewell enjoys jousts with WA

52.8 Caleb Jewell's average against WA
Caleb Jewell averages 31.93 in first-class cricket but his record against Western Australia is exceptional. It speaks to his ability to rise to the challenge against better bowling having performed outstandingly for Australia A last year. While WA has been the benchmark team in the last three seasons, Jewell has dominated against them scoring three centuries including 227 in their most recent Shield meeting in Hobart. He also scored a century at the WACA late last season just before WA won the Shield final against Victoria. He has had to work hard early in this innings against some high-class swing and seam bowling. But he is starting to expand now as Tasmania steady after the early loss of Matthew Wade.
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WA on top after disciplined bowling

Lunch Day 2 Tasmania 17 for 1 (Jewell 12*, Gannon 1-4) trail Western Australia 347 (Whiteman 104, Connolly 90, Carlisle 3-65, Freeman 3-103) by 330 runs
Here is Tristan from the WACA ground at lunch
WA continue to have the edge with a first-innings total of 347 looking imposing on a tricky surface. Cooper Connolly fell agonisingly short of history much to the disappointment of the fans, who had trickled in early. They were clapping at every run he scored and also at every ball that Corey Rocchiccioli blocked.
It's going to be tough work for Tasmania with batting usually becoming more difficult throughout the day as the wicket hardens up and gets quicker. It is already notably quicker and bouncier than on day one with Cameron Gannon and Joel Paris exploiting the conditions brilliantly.
The loss of Cameron Bancroft, who is excellent at second slip, has meant WA have had to rejig their slip cordon. Gannon and Charlie Stobo are filling in at second slip with D'Arcy Short at first slip as Hilton Cartwright has been taken out of the cordon due to a finger injury he sustained recently.
In his last first-class match, Matthew Wade was trapped by a superb inswinger from Gannon and he seemingly accepted his fate as he trudged off the ground not appearing disappointed at the decision.
For more on Cameron Gannon's late-season form, here is Tristan's conversation with him before the Shield final.
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Paris delivers three maidens in a row

1

Wade gone as Gannon and Paris make the new ball talk

1
W
Matthew Wade's final first-class match has not started well after he was trapped lbw by Cameron Gannon for one having faced the first 11 balls of the innings. Joel Paris beat him several times with high-class outswingers in the first over. Then Cameron Gannon delivered a series of superb inswingers culminating in Wade being trapped on the crease and given lbw. Height may have been the only query on the decision given the bounce in this surface but Wade was caught on the crease and is a short man. It looked unlikely to be clearing the bails on the replay. There is no ball-tracking or DRS in this game. WA's new ball duo look on song early. There is plenty in this pitch.
1

Connolly falls 10 short of a century

347 WA's first innings score
Cooper Connolly falls 10 runs short of a maiden first-class century. It is a still a wonderful effort. He is only the fourth man in Sheffield Shield history to debut in a final and his 90 has helped WA post a good first innings score of 347. He falls to Iain Carlisle who deserved a third wicket having been the pick of Tasmania's bowlers. Carlisle got one to seam away and bounce a touch more as Connolly flashed a cut shot off the front foot and the thick edge was well held by Beau Webster at a lone slip.
3

Hope for Connolly

0.53 WA's lead over Tasmania on bonus points
Brad Hope has given Cooper Connolly a life! Connolly sliced Iain Carlisle high to deep backward point and Hope camped under it but spilled the straightforward chance. He still has the opportunity to make a century on debut but it has been hard to find the runs with Tasmania putting all their men in the deep.
Meanwhile, WA have taken the lead on bonus points after the first 100 overs of the match. In the event of a drawn final, the team with the most bonus points will win the title. The rule was changed a few years ago to prevent the home team from producing flat pitches and playing for a draw. Teams get 0.01 points for every run scored over 200 in the first 100 overs and 0.10 for every wicket taken. WA scored 143 runs after reaching 200 and Tasmania have taken nine wickets. Tasmania will need to make up the difference in the first 100 overs of their batting innings if they want to win the title in the case of a drawn game.

Meredith strikes leaving WA nine down

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1
4b
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W
Riley Meredith breaks through with some extra pace to have Cameron Gannon caught down the legside. He's been a little wayward in the first few overs this morning. A half-volley to Cooper Connolly disappeared through cover. A bouncer down leg went for four byes with Jake Doran unable to glove it cleanly on the stretch. But the keeper was able to get to a leg glance from Gannon as he tried to flick a rising ball off the hip fine. Connolly now only has Corey Rocchiccioli in support and he is still 18 away from a century. But Rocchiccioli did make a stunning 28-ball half-century in the Shield final two years ago on this ground.

Can Connolly reach a debut century?

The sun is shining at the WACA Ground as the players head to the middle for day two of the Sheffield Shield final. It was a fascinating first day with plenty of ebbs and flows as Tristan Lavalette noted in his report.
Jarrod Freeman believes if Tasmania can take two quick wickets this morning they will be on top. WA are pretty happy with 325 already. But they would love Cooper Connolly to farm the strike and sneak to a debut century and lift the total beyond 350. Riley Meredith will start from the northern end.
Here is Tristan from the WACA
Anticipation is high at the start of day two for a Cooper Connolly century on first-class debut. Quite a few people have rocked up early at the WACA in the hope of seeing something extraordinary from the 20-year-old who some close observers have compared to Shaun Marsh.
WA will be hoping Connolly can lift WA to a score of over 350, which should be quite formidable on a surface that is offering some movement for the seamers and sharp spin.
Tasmania will need to take these last two wickets quickly before facing an examination against WA's formidable attack. A crowd of around 1500 is expected today amid perfect conditions.

Stumps, day one: Whiteman, Connolly give WA the edge

Western Australia 325 for 8 vs Tasmania
An enthralling start to the Sheffield Shield final with the opening day ending slightly in favour of the home side. Sam Whiteman made an excellent century then Cooper Connolly staved off a middle-order wobble in a very impressive first-class debut. Tasmania have stuck at it with the ball after a wicketless first session. Interestingly there was quite a bit of turn for Jarrod Freeman.
Who is on top after day one?
186 votes
Western Australia
Tasmania
Honours even
Here's Tristan Lavalette to wrap up the day from the WACA (full report to follow):
Western Australia have the edge on the opening day, but Tasmania fought back with regular wickets to stay afloat.
The day's play has followed a fairly typical pattern at the WACA this season with batting at times looking easy, but wickets falling in clumps. Batting has often become harder as the day wears on and that was the case again although debutant Cooper Connolly defied the conditions with a typically brave counterattack.
Connolly's fearless approach shows why WA have been so keen to get him in the line-up. He was supposed to play the season-opener against Victoria before suffering a toe injury from a freak boat accident.
While Sam Whiteman's century was all class, it was the inclusions of Connolly and D'Arcy Short that might prove masterstrokes. Both were surprise selections, but justified their spots. WA will be eyeing a score of 350, which should be formidable.
Tasmania were probably right to bowl first - it is the template at the WACA - but will rue sloppy bowling and fielding in the first session. They toiled hard, but were inconsistent. The sharp turn produced by Jarrod Freeman and Beau Webster, who reverted from seam, will be welcomed by Corey Rocchiccioli, who has almost mastered conditions at the WACA.
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New ball approaching

Cooper Connolly has pulled himself back somewhat from the flying start as Western Australia make their way towards 300. It's looking likely that Tasmania will need the second new ball to try and go through the lower order. Joel Paris and Charlie Stobo have played important hands at stages this season.

Erm, Cooper, this is red-ball cricket...

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4
4
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6
Cooper Connolly has come out playing his shots on first-class debut
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Big fightback from Tasmania!

The in-form Josh Inglis has fallen shortly after tea, meaning Tasmania have taken 5 for 105 since the opening stand. Inglis was sharply caught in the gully as he cut at the impressive Iain Carlisle. They almost had another next ball when Cooper Connolly drove at his first ball in first-class cricket and edged between second slip and gully.
How the collapse has unfolded:
D’Arcy Short: c Doran b Bell 50 (110 for 1)
Edging a lifting delivery to the keeper
Jayden Goodwin: c Jewell b Freeman 2 (119 for 2)
Nicked one that straighten to slip
Sam Whiteman: lbw b Carlisle 104 (193 for 3)
Pinned lbw from round the wicket
Aaron Hardie: b Freeman 0 (194 for 4)
Bowled through the gate by a ripper
Josh Inglis: c Wakim b Carlisle 15 (215 for 5)
Slashing cut, taken low at gully

Tea day one: Plenty happening at the WACA

Tea Western Australia 194 for 4 vs Tasmania
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A bit to wrap up from the closing stages of that session. Sam Whiteman's century ended by some excellent bowling from Iain Carlisle and then Jarrod Freeman has produced a dream offspinner's wicket by ripping one through gate to bowl Aaron Hardie. Things are looking a little different now. The way Freeman has got it turn would suggest those spins stats from earlier could be very important as this game develops.
And here's the latest from Tristan at the WACA:
There was a loud roar from WA's balcony when Sam Whiteman made his ton. His team-mates all stood and applauded, looking mightily pleased for their skipper who has brought a lot of composure into the match. He looked set for a century from the get go although he will be disappointed to fall on the stroke of tea.
Hilton Cartwright had struggled in the Shield this season, but decided to end his slump by playing his shots.
The surface all season has been surprisingly spin friendly and Jarrod Freeman has found sharp spin and grip.
Conditions often change in the last session as the Fremantle Doctor comes into play and divots appear, so Tasmania are still well and truly in the game.
Fans are rolling in this afternoon amid perfect conditions of around 30 degrees. There are considerably more people here than on a normal Shield day with a projected crowd of 1500 likely to be reached.
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Century for Whiteman!

A true captain's innings from Sam Whiteman. A push to mid-off took him to his century from 144 balls, his second in a Sheffield Shield final. After the shock of losing Cameron Bancroft for this game it was vital that a senior player stood up and Whiteman has done that. He started briskly, slowed up to his fifty then upped the tempo this afternoon.
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Cartwright cuts loose

Hilton Cartwright has set off a like a train. At the time of writing he is 30 off 19 balls having started by taking on Jarrod Freeman immediately after the wicket fell. His most recent drive off Beau Webster has ended up in the building site. Meanwhile, Sam Whiteman is moving along nicely as another Shield final hundred looms into view

Freeman nicks off Goodwin

Tasmania have two quick wickets with Jarrod Freeman extracting a hint of turn to have Jayden Goodwin caught at slip by Caleb Jewell. Freeman has looked dangerous at times to Western Australia's top three left-handers. Goodwin was caught on the crease and arguably could have been further forward to a ball drifting into middle and spinning away. Goodwin was only half-forward as he defended with his bat coming across the line. The thick edge was neatly held by Jewell at slip. It would have been a relief for Jewell after he spilled D'Arcy Short earlier in the day. Tasmania can sense an opening. They need to keep the pressure on. Freeman will find it harder bowling to the powerful right-handers in Hilton Cartwright, in at No.4, Aaron Hardie and Josh Inglis to come.
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Wicket! Bell strikes

Gabe Bell has made the breakthrough for Tasmania, and how they needed it. After beating and finding the edge throughout the day (and missing a catch), Bell feathered the outside edge of D'Arcy Short with one that just climbed across him. There was celebration and also relief from the visiting team. Can they quickly add another?
It ended a very fine opening stand between Short and Whiteman. There have only been eight century stands for the first wicket and WA have four of them (three between Whiteman and Bancroft).

Fifty for Whiteman

Sam Whiteman may have been fortunate to survive an lbw shout shortly after lunch but he has moved to a neat 81-ball fifty as Western Australia's opening stand continues to grow. In a season where runs have been hard to come by, he's been very impressive. Ensuring the absence of Cameron Bancroft is not, so far, being felt too badly.
Did Tasmania get it wrong at the toss?
63 votes
Yes
No
Still too early to tell

Lunch, day one: Western Australia solid, with some fortune

Lunch Western Australia 82 for 0 vs Tasmania
Here's Tristan from the WACA
Western Australia will be delighted to get through the first session unscathed after being sent in on a green-tinged pitch.
Sam Whiteman has unsurprisingly looked composed. He was relaxed at yesterday's press conference underlining his experience on this stage. D'Arcy Short was perhaps a surprising choice to replace Cameron Bancroft - the feeling had been that Teague Wyllie was the favourite. His aggressive style and experience edged him over Wyllie. Short has never made a maiden first-class ton, but could be dangerous after lunch.
Tasmania were wayward with the new ball and the surface has not done as much as expected. But that has not been unusual at the WACA this season with clumps of wickets often happening later on the opening day when divots open up.
Short has had two moments of fortune: he appeared to glove a no-ball from Beau Webster down the leg side in the allrounder's first over and was also dropped at slip by Caleb Jewell.
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Tasmania miss a chance!

D'Arcy Short has been given a life, put down by Caleb Jewell at first slip on 16. It was a flashing drive and went above Jewell's head but should have been held. Would have been a much-needed breakthrough for Tasmania. Conditions are looking very good for batting.
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Drinks: WA 42 for 0

A solid opening hour for the hosts. Tasmania's seamers have caused the occasional uneasy moment, but the ball hasn't done as much as they would have hoped after bowling first. Sam Whiteman has looked very good although it's been harder going for D'Arcy Short. The scoring rate was clawed back as drinks approached. Will we see spin soon?
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WA's absent names

A lot is talked about WA's depth, and nothing highlights it more than the list of players they don't have available for this final:
Cameron Bancroft (injury)
Cameron Green (IPL)
Mitchell Marsh (IPL)
Marcus Stoinis (IPL)
Ashton Turner (IPL)
Jhye Richardson (IPL/injury)
Matt Kelly (injury)
Lance Morris (injury)
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Good early signs from Whiteman

Who will win the final?
75 votes
Western Australia
Tasmania
Draw - decided on bonus points
Very early stages, but the first four overs did not bring many alarms for the batters after WA were put into bat. Riley Meredith zipped one past an expansive drive from D'Arcy Short, but captain Sam Whiteman looks in good touch, particularly a lovely on drive against Gabe Bell. Tasmania will hope to see the ball doing a little more.
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Leading the way

As the action gets underway at the WACA, here's a summary of the leading run-scorers and wicket-takers from the regular season.
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Shield vs IPL

Matthew Wade has delayed his departure to the IPL to play in this final, but WA don't have any of their India-bound players. Cricket Australia allowed each player to make their own decision and granted No Objection Certificates to miss this match, but should the Shield final be compulsory?
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Watch Around The Wicket

The latest episode of ESPN's Around The Wicket had plenty of Sheffield Shield chat as Neroli Meadows was joined by Simon Katich, Tim Paine (showing his true Tassie colours) and special guests Matthew Wade, who will retire from first-class cricket after this game, and Hilton Cartwright.
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If it's a draw...

This final is played over five days, so plenty of time for an outright result, but if it is a draw the title will be decided on first-innings bonus points. Here's how they work:
Bonus points are awarded across the first 100 overs of each first innings: 0.01 of a bonus point for every run over 200 scored during the first 100 overs of the first innings (ie: 350 after 100 overs nets you 1.5 bonus points) and 0.1 of a bonus point for every wicket a team takes during the first 100 overs of their opponent's first innings (ie: 10 wickets before 100 first-innings overs elapses nets you 1 point).
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Toss and teams are in...

Tasmania have won the toss and will bowl
And here are the two XIs:
Western Australia Sam Whiteman (capt), D’Arcy Short, Jayden Goodwin, Hilton Cartwright, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis (wk), Cooper Connolly, Joel Paris, Charlie Stobo, Cameron Gannon, Corey Rocchiccioli
Tasmania Caleb Jewell, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Jordan Silk (capt), Jake Doran (wk), Beau Webster, Bradley Hope, Jarrod Freeman, Gabe Bell, Iain Carlisle, Riley Meredith
So D'Arcy Short gets the task of filling Cameron Bancroft's boots while Cooper Connolly comes into the middle order for a first-class debut in a final. Surprised to see Liam Haskett has been left out. Tasmania largely as expected with Riley Meredith back.
Tristan, who is at the WACA for us, says the Haskett decision was down to team balance. Aaron Hardie is on restricted overs after injury, but no firm number. So Charlie Stobo seen as the batter option in the attack. Meanwhile, Connolly’s cap was presented by Clint Heron, former WA player who is Scarborough Cricket president
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Beau Webster, Tasmania's talisman

Talking of players of the season, no one has been better than Beau Webster. Just the fourth player in Shield history to score 900+ runs and take 25+ wickets in a campaign. Tristan Lavalette spoke to him in the lead-up to the final.
Webster has rekindled the interest of the national hierarchy and was selected in a strong Prime Minister's XI team against Pakistan in December. With Green and Marsh cemented in Australia's Test team, and Aaron Hardie being groomed through the shorter formats, international opportunities might not be forthcoming but those around him know Webster's ready for the next level.
"If someone like Marsh got injured, he would have to be the next player in. He'll be pushing for that. He's been huge," Wade said last week.
During the Prime Minister's XI match, Webster had conversations with national chief selector George Bailey, his former Shield captain. "It was nice recognition to be selected. That team was a genuine Australia A team," he said. "I think I'm absolutely ready for the next level. But I have to stay in-form and help win games for Tassie."
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WA chase historic hat-trick while Tasmania look to break 11-year drought

Welcome to our coverage of the Sheffield Shield final from the WACA in Perth. Western Australia nipped in for hosting rights at the last moment with victory over Victoria after South Australia had toppled Tasmania - the leaders until the final day of the season.
It means that WA will have home advantage in their quest for a hat-trick of Shield titles, but do no underestimate Tasmania who have put together a terrific campaign led by Beau Webster's spectacular season and a strong seam-bowling attack.
We'll bring you updates and analysis throughout the five days, but to get started here's the preview from Tristan Lavalette to set the scene
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English
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Sheffield Shield

TEAMMWLDPT
WA1052347.93
TAS1052347.36
NSW1043342.31
VIC1044238.94
SOA1036133.49
QLD1026225.84