Turner century leads WA to handy Shield final lead

March 25, 2023 03:56 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Western Australia are in the box seat to defend their Sheffield Shield crown after Ashton Turner broke his century drought with a sparkling knock against Victoria.

Turner compiled his highest first-class score with a magnificent 128 before WA were bowled out in their first innings for 315 after lunch on day three of the Shield final, leading Victoria by 120 runs at the WACA Ground.

Victoria must win outright to claim the title after WA outpaced the visitors on bonus points by dismissing them within the first 100 overs of their first innings.

Turner partnered with tailender Joel Paris (31) for a 105-run stand, batting superbly against the new ball after WA resumed at 5-175 in response to Victoria's 195.

The 30-year-old had not played in the Shield since October 2020 before earning a recall for last week's final-round game against the same opponents at the same venue.

He was feted by his hometown crowd after taking a quick single off the bowling of Todd Murphy to reach his hundred off 190 balls.

Turner's last first-class century came in November 2017 when he made an unbeaten 101 against Queensland, building on two tons the previous season.

His counter-attacking 86-run stand with Aaron Hardie (45) turned the game for WA after they had collapsed to 4-53.

He took a more sedate approach early on day three, absorbing 26 balls before adding to his overnight score of 49.

Recalled after a sparkling run of form in club cricket, Turner paced his innings to perfection before eventually nicking behind to standout Victorian quick Will Sutherland (5-75).

Paris earlier fell to part-time offspinner Matt Short (2-3), while Scott Boland (2-40) had Josh Philippe (28) caught trying to pull over midwicket.

Victoria had few other wicket-taking opportunities, although Fergus O'Neill failed to hold a return catch to dismiss Paris on one.

Test offspinner Murphy was unable to make a significant impact in his first match at the WACA Ground, bowling just 10 overs for figures of 0-37.

WA also claimed more bonus points than Victoria in last year's drawn decider, handing them their first title since 1998-99.

The hosts are chasing an unprecedented 'six-peat' of consecutive Shield, one-day cup and Big Bash titles.

Play started an hour earlier on Saturday with an extra 90 minutes scheduled to make up for time lost to rain and bad light on day two.


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