Cartwright Ton Puts Destiny In WA's Hands
18 March 2017  

The Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors will enter Day 4 of the must-win Sheffield Shield clash against New South Wales with destiny in their own hands, after a rousing undefeated 170 from Hilton Cartwright helped set the Blues an imposing victory target of 403.

And NSW will enter the final day having been rocked by the last delivery on Day 3, with Nic Maddinson chopping on off David Moody for four, to have the Blues 1-6.

Cartwright hit his second ton in two matches on his way to 170 not out, ending his innings alongside retiring captain Adam Voges (17 not out), as WA declared at 4-275 and a lead of 402 runs.

The declaration came in the shadow of stumps and gave the Warriors two overs to bowl to the Blues, but as it appeared neither Jason Behrendorff nor Moody would be able to capitalise, the latter struck with the final ball of the day.

WA now stands on the verge of making a third Sheffield Shield Final in four years, with Queensland having earlier in the day been knocked out of the race and proceedings in the other deciding game - between South Australia and Tasmania in Hobart - on a knife's edge.

The Warriors will leap into second place on the table and qualify for the Final if they can defeat the Blues and Tasmania either wins or forces a draw in the other game.

The undefeated knock of Voges was a fitting end to the outgoing captain's final knock of State cricket at the WACA Ground, as even if WA progresses to the Final, it will be hosted by Victoria in Alice Springs.

NSW players formed a guard of honour for the 37-year-old as he strolled to the crease late on Day 3, putting on a 63-run partnership alongside Cartwright.

Cartwright's tally was as important as it was impressive, but equally pressing was the 98.27 strike rate, as the Warriors will be keenly aware that time could fast become an enemy on the final day.

Adding to the dilemma is the equation for the final standings; if there is no result in the game in Hobart, NSW will know it simply has to bat out a draw at the WACA Ground to hold onto second place.

Earlier in the day, the Blues resumed on 5-242 and were on shaky ground after Behrendorff (4-70(23)) oversaw a fall to 9-267, but a rearguard push from pace bowler Doug Bollinger (32) had the visitors edge to 309 before the last wicket fell.

WA stumbled early as Cameron Bancroft departed for a fourth-ball duck and Jonathan Wells edged Trent Copeland to slip for just six, but the young brigade of batsmen again stood up, as Ashton Turner (44) combined with Cartwright for a 140-run rescue mission.

Cartwright then took a liking to Will Somerville, who was on the receiving end of most of the WA batsman's five sixes, and quickly saw his side through to the imposing lead of 402.

NSW will resume its innings on 1-6, with Daniel Hughes (0no) and Ed Cowan at the crease.

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