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Boland leads day 3 fightback as Vics reduce damage against WA with Shield final on the line

Jarred Cross -

Scott Boland has produced late to clean up the tail and remove Western Australian top-order danger man Cameron Bancroft to stunt WA's lead as Victoria seek victory against WA in Naarm.

Trailing Tasmania on the table, who fell 134 runs short against South Australia on Wednesday ahead of next week's final, both WA and Victoria are desperate to secure their spot in the Sheffield Shield decider with a win.

WA are in the box-seat after boasting a 268-run lead over the Vics after the match's third innings, with a chance to leapfrog the Tigers and host the final match of the summer for a third-consecutive season after the ladder-leaders were comprehensively beaten by South Australia in Hobart.

Victoria produced two major collapses in a modest first innings of 144.

After starring on quick return from the Australian camp in Aotearoa with four wickets in the first innings, Boland backed it up with 4-51 in WA's second dig, and was crucial in limiting the visitor's grip on the match with breakthrough dismissals on Wednesday morning.

Despite failing to make an impact with the ball on Tuesday, Boland sent a stubborn no.8 Joel Paris (8 from 44 balls) back to pavilion by catching his outside edge to a diving Peter Hanscomb at second slip.

Despite moving into the lower tail, former Test opener Cameron Bancroft remained at the crease and threatened to tick things over into a strong lead despite the likelihood of finishing their innings short of 200.

Bancroft worked his way to 58 from 166 balls before Boland produced again.

Courtesy of a desperate lunge from keeper Sam Harper, Bancroft was on his way after Boland jagged one off the seam, catching the opener's outside edge.

It left WA 8-152 with tail enders Cameron Gannon and Corey Rocchiccioli at the crease as rain delayed play.

Once play resumed, Boland caught Liam Haskett's pad in front for a second-ball duck before striking again to finish their innings when Cameron Gannon top edged a pull shot to Todd Murphy on the boundary at backward square leg.

WA finished their innings with 168.

A draw will be enough for them to withstand a major shake-up from fourth-placed NSW, who posted a 172-run first innings lead over Queensland in their match.

With Tassie struggling, a win will see them host in Perth.

The Vics have a reasonable chase in front of them after starting their innings with hours in hand before the final day of play on Thursday.

In Hobart, Worimi quick Brendan Doggett took match figures of 7-109 (4-36 in the first innings) against Tasmania.

Within that, the 29-year-old made sure of removing their top order early when dismissing Matthew Wade in the first innings before contributing further down in Tassie's batting order, and swept through the host's middle order removing Jordan Silk cheaply and getting the key wickets of Jake Doran (34) and Beau Webster (68).

It was a solid end to the season for Doggett, who had an otherwise modest year with the ball for the Redbacks.


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