Shaun Marsh racks up the runs for Western Australia.
Shaun Marsh racks up the runs for Western Australia.

Marsh brothers state case in Shield games

IT was another big day for Australian test hopefuls in the Sheffield Shield, as a number of batsmen were handed chances to state their case.

Aspirational and incumbent batsmen spent time in the middle on Sunday, with some faring better than others.

The Marsh brothers spent significant time in the middle together for Western Australia, as they strengthened their standing with an 83-run partnership to steady a rocky start.

Mitch fell after a strong 44 from 66 deliveries which included six fours and a six. While Shaun remained 57* at stumps.

Earlier, Redbacks wicketkeeper-batsman Harry Nielsen produced a fighting 82 as SA mustered a second-innings 268.

WA quick Matthew Kelly took five wickets but Nielsen and Tom Cooper (49), and a handy 38 from tailender Nick Winter, raised the victory target.

SA resumed on Sunday at 5-94 with Cooper on one but his overnight partner Joe Mennie soon fell for a duck to extend a collapse of 5-11.

Matthew Renshaw made just six runs
Matthew Renshaw made just six runs

Over in Canberra, Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne had a big task after New South Wales declared at a whopping 3-360, leaving the Queenslanders chasing a big score for victory.

Renshaw didn't last long though, facing just 11 balls for his six before falling to Test quick Josh Hazlewood.

Labuschagne quickly followed him to the pavilion, managing just four runs from three deliveries before edging behind off Mitchell Starc.

Burns steadied as teammates fell around him and sits 37 not out overnight, having amassed five boundaries.

One man who did his chances of a surprise national call-up no harm was Tasmanian opener Alex Doolan.

The 32-year-old continued his strong Shield form in the clash against Victoria with a well-constructed 94 from 119 deliveries before falling to Peter Siddle.

Alex Doolan made 94 in a strong showing
Alex Doolan made 94 in a strong showing

Doolan put on 170 with opening partner Jordan Silk (77* at stumps), before being sent back to the pavilion.

Victoria were dismissed for 282 at lunch on Sunday, a score boosted by a 50-run final-wicket stand between Peter Siddle (42) and Jon Holland (29 not out).

Silk (53 not out) and Doolan (30 not out) batted through the second session at Bellerive Oval.

But it wasn't the biggest stand to open an innings, as New South Wales pair Daniel Hughes and Nick Larkin swashbuckled their way to a massive 258 run partnership.

Hughes was the first to go, after hauling out to spinner Mitch Swepson.

Nick Larkin of the Blues celebrates after reaching his century
Nick Larkin of the Blues celebrates after reaching his century

Larkin was unbeaten on 175 and smashed 23 boundaries as he notched up the fourth-highest score of the Shield season.

The right-hander produced his highest first-class score and his first Shield century in four years as he carried his bat.

Hughes punished the Bulls after being dropped by Mark Steketee at backward square leg on 26.

Jason Sangha reinforced his status as a promising prospect with an entertaining 32 not out as the Blues put their foot on the pedal in pursuit of quick runs.

Swepson finished with two wickets however went for 133 runs from his 29 overs.

The Bulls were dealt a big blow when paceman Brendan Doggett suffered a quad strain, ruling him out of the attack.