WA Triumphs Over Queensland, Secures Semi-Final Berth

WA Triumphs Over Queensland, Secures Semi-Final Berth

Western Australia (WA) secured a crucial 146-run victory over Queensland at the WACA, propelling them to second place on the Sheffield Shield ladder with one round remaining.

After dismissing Queensland for 170 in their first innings, WA set a target of 307 for victory. Queensland resumed day four at 56 for 1, but WA’s bowlers, led by Corey Rocchiccioli and Cameron Gannon, made early inroads.

Jack Wildermuth and Ben McDermott provided resistance for Queensland, scoring half-centuries. However, Rocchiccioli and Gannon combined for seven wickets, with Rocchiccioli claiming 4-109 and Gannon taking 3-49.

WA’s victory has set up a semi-final clash with Victoria, who lost to Tasmania in a thrilling encounter. The match will be played at the Junction Oval from March 11.

WA may consider changes to their lineup, with allrounder Aaron Hardie potentially returning from injury. Experienced quick Joel Paris could be rested, opening the door for Ashton Agar to make his first Shield appearance of the season.

Agar and Rocchiccioli have never played together for WA but are close friends and club cricket teammates. Rocchiccioli expressed his excitement at the prospect of playing alongside Agar.

Queensland, who were out of contention for the final, showed resilience in their second innings. Angus Lovell and Jack Clayton dug in late on day three, but WA’s bowlers seized control on day four.

Jimmy Peirson was bowled by Rocchiccioli, but Wildermuth and Xavier Bartlett combined for a half-century partnership. Wildermuth eventually fell for 91, edging Rocchiccioli to slip.

The match marked the final day of Australian cricket for retiring umpires Paul Wilson and Bruce Oxenford, who received a guard of honor from the teams and a standing ovation from the crowd.