Hazlewood on fire as NSW heads toward Sheffield Shield victory

Bendemeer  paceman Josh Hazlewood has recorded a career-best six-wicket haul to help dismiss Western Australia for 180 in their first innings of the Sheffield Shield final in Canberra.

 New South Wales were 2-46 at stumps on the third day of the five-day final. 

Hazlewood claimed three wickets, including two off the first two balls of the WA innings, and a run-out to leave NSW on the brink of its first Shield title since 2007-08

After watching the Blues bat for more than 168 overs and almost 11 hours, the Canberra crowd of 3232 was brought to life as Hazlewood livened up the party.

He knocked over Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris for golden ducks with the first two balls, Adam Voges in his second over and threw down the stumps to leave Marcus North short of his ground.

“I don’t think anyone else needed to be on the field. He took three wickets then the direct hit run-out; he was on fire,’’ Henriques said.

“He had a chance to steam in and not worry about being on the field for too long, and he did that brilliantly.’’

Hazlewood used the swing with the new ball to perfection and could not believe his luck when his throw to get rid of North was on target.

“We were only out there for 10 minutes so I was still pretty fresh,’’ Hazlewood said.

“Probably wouldn’t have got that run-out if it was tomorrow or the next day.

Hazlewood took two of those last four scalps, removing WA keeper Sam Whiteman caught behind by Peter Neville - who took five catches - before making inroads on the tail with Ashton Agar dismissed in similar fashion.

WA batsman Mitchell Marsh was the stand-out for his side, left stranded on 92 not out in front of 2,427 spectators on a flat Manuka Oval deck.

He received good support from his older brother and recently dropped Test batsman Shaun until NSW all-rounder Moises Henriques (1-36) backed up his stellar century by breaking the stubborn 98-run partnership.

Following their disastrous day two, WA battled through the first two sessions on Sunday by scraping together 119 runs for the loss of just two wickets.

But things unravelled once again in the final session, losing their last four wickets for just 46 runs.

NSW’s dominant position was set up by a classy knock from Test squad all-rounder Henriques, who recorded just his third first-class century with a patient 140 runs off 316 balls.

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