Western Australia has won the Marsh Sheffield Shield for the second year in a row after defeating Victoria by nine wickets at the WACA Ground in Perth. The win has helped Western Australia achieve their second consecutive domestic double, having already asserted the Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One-Day Cup trophies in the last two seasons.
Ashton Turner, the middle-order batsman for Western Australia, was named the player of the match for his remarkable knock of 128 runs from 227 balls. Turner’s innings was the only hundred scored in the final and proved to be a game-changing knock. He came to the crease when his team was struggling at 4-53 on day two and anchored the innings from there on.
Joel Paris was Western Australia’s standout bowler, taking five wickets and contributing a crucial 31-run partnership with Turner during their opening innings. Lance Morris returned figures of 3-53 and 1-69 in his first red-ball game in almost four weeks, actually contributing to Western Australia’s achievement.
Victoria began the day with a score of 122-6, trailing by only two runs, but were jolted early on by Mitchell Perry’s wicket, which ended an 81-run stand. After a flurry of wickets, however, Victoria were bolstered by Will Sutherland’s counteroffensive, with tend to be more committed from Todd Murphy on the other end, trying to put on 60 runs for the ninth wicket. Sutherland’s explosive devices were ended prematurely after a run-a-ball 83 by Aaron Hardie after Murphy was dismissed.
With a goal of 91 runs to win the Shield for the second time in a row, Western Australia did lose Whiteman slightly earlier for a duck, stuck in front by Boland. However, Bancroft held firm while Wyllie rushed his way to the goal at nearly 4 jogs per over, as the Victorians watched the title drift away for the second time in a row.
Western Australia has won the Shield in straight seasons for the first time since Victoria in 2014-18. This is also the first time a Western Australian team has won successive national titles since the summers of 1997-98 and 1998-99.
While Western Australia’s performance was outstanding, the same cannot be said about Victoria, who failed to capitalize on their strong start in the final. The team was missing key players, with their captain Peter Handscomb and Will Pucovski being unavailable due to injury, and Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell on national duty with the Australian team.
Victoria’s all-rounder Will Sutherland was the only bright spot for the team, as he not only claimed five wickets in Western Australia’s first innings but also scored an impressive half-century in the second innings. Sutherland’s all-round performance was in vain, as Western Australia’s Ashton Turner stole the limelight with his timely first-innings century, his first in over five years.
Western Australia’s win is a testament to their all-round strength, with both their batsmen and bowlers performing at the highest level. The team has also shown resilience, fighting back from a precarious position to secure a comfortable win in the final.