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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

WA locks in final round thriller against Victoria

Reigning Shield champions Western Australia have moved to second on the ladder after holding off Queensland to secure a 146-run victory on day four. 

With one round left, WA will head to Victoria, who were knocked down to third after losing to Tasmania, to fight for the final spot in the final against Tasmania. 

Speaking post-match, Rocchicchioli says he is “excited” to have an opportunity to play in his third Shield final. 

“The good thing is you can control, what you can control and if we win, we go through, so just really excited for that,” he said. 

“I can't wait to play against the Vics, they're a hard team. I feel like we've played a lot of hard battles against them.  A few players I know in that team as well, so it's always good to play against them.” 

Gannon and Joel Paris struck early on Sunday morning to remove Angus Lovell and Jack Clayton within the first 15 minutes of play. Not long after that, the Bulls found themselves 4/81 and needing a steady partnership.

However, Queensland staged a fight back with Jack Wildermuth and Ben McDermott knocking half-centuries, making WA work for the win.  

Rocchicchioli believes the win was secured in one of the most rewarding ways. 

“First-class cricket, you're never gonna get handed to you.  I think I've learned that in my short career that you just don't let teams fold,” said Rocchicchioli. 

“Some of the best wins you can have are the ones you win on day four, and you're a bit cooked, and you sort of have to go into that last session to win it. 

“They're always gonna come out. They're really good cricketers, they're a really good cricketing side, so we're really lucky.” 

Rocchiccioli and Cameron Gannon were pivotal during the final day, combining for seven wickets to bowl Queensland out early in the final session of the day. 

Western Australia were without pace-bowlers Jhye Richardson and Matt Kelly against Queensland, with Gannon coming in to take their place. 

With five wickets across the two bowling innings, Rocchicchioli commended Gannon’s “renaissance” performance against Queensland. 

“When you look at the list, I think we've got like 17 fast bowlers on the list, and that's just really good, and there's that big trust that we've got in a group that when people need to be asked to play, they perform,” he said.

“I love that Ganno's having that renaissance to his career, he's a bit of a renaissance man at the moment. 

“The way he's swinging the ball, the way that he's taking catches, the way that he's batting, it's great to have him around. 

“You can't underestimate experience in Shield career. He's seen a lot of things, and he's had a lot of seasons, so I'm really happy for him that he's playing cricket.”

IMAGE: Getty Images


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