Mitch Marsh returns for Western Australia against Tasmania. Image courtesy of cricket.com.au
Western Australia can qualify for its first domestic 50 over final in nine years with a big win over Tasmania at the WACA in Perth on Tuesday. After losing four of their opening five matches in the competition, the Warriors looked likely to finish at the bottom of the table but their results have improved considerably since the Big Bash break. Justin Langer’s side has picked up bonus point wins over New South Wales and Queensland and if they can collect another against the Tigers, they will jump from fifth to second and into the decider.
Western Australia’s cause will be boosted by the return of Australian allrounder Mitch Marsh , who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since November. He is one of six new faces from the squad that beat the Bulls on earlier this month, with Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Agar all unavailable. Former Blues quick Burt Cockley, Tim Armstrong and Luke Towers have all earnt recalls, while Ashton Turner and Hayden Parsons could make their List A debuts. Michael Hussey will captain the side with Voges out.
Australian T20 skipper George Bailey is a key inclusion for the Tigers, who are without several important players themselves. Tim Paine and Alex Doolan are with the Australia ‘A’ squad, but Ben Laughlin and James Faulkner return to bolster an attack that struggled to take wickets against New South Wales last week. Mark Cosgrove gets another chance, having scored just 51 runs in 4 Ryobi Cup outings this summer.
When these teams met at Burnie earlier in the season, Tasmania won by 85 runs, although Western Australia is unbeaten since.
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