An unbroken record partnership between Cameron Bancroft and Michael Klinger against NSW has all but ensured Western Australia will play Victoria in the Sheffield Shield final.
With Victoria beating Tasmania in Alice Springs to sew up top spot on the Shield table ahead of next week’s final, WA only needs to draw the match at the WACA Ground against NSW.
Thanks to Bancroft and Klinger they are now on the verge of doing exactly that.
The pair combined for an unbeaten 317-run stand to leave WA 1-320 at stumps on the third day in reply to NSW’s first innings of 407.
The Blues now somehow need to bowl the Warriors out twice in the 112 overs available on the last day as well as having to set a target themselves.
Bancroft and Klinger came together on the second day with WA at 1-3 and set about batting NSW out of the match.
Bancroft is 144 not out at stumps in his highest first-class score and the 22-year-old opening batsmen has now made three centuries this season on top of a 99.
In total, he has amassed 736 runs at an average of 46.
Klinger remains not out 159 and has made four Shield centuries in his first season with WA after crossing from South Australia.
He has made 981 Shield runs at 65 this season on top of starring in WA’s one-day cup win and the Perth Scorchers’ Big Bash League triumph.
The pair’s 317-run partnership is WA’s best ever for the second wicket surpassing the 254 between Mike Veletta and Geoff Marsh against Queensland in Brisbane in 1985.
Bancroft was over the moon to have been part of such a crucial, record partnership with Klinger.
“We knew at the start of the day that we were going to have to do something like that just to put them under the pump and take them out of the game,” Bancroft said.
“For Maxy and I to be able to do something like that is just unbelievable and it probably hasn’t sunk in, but it was a good day for us.”