WA face mountainous Tassie task

Written By Unknown on Senin, 26 November 2012 | 23.40

Late cameo ... James Faulkner (L) scores some handy late runs for Tasmania. Source: Nikki Davis-jones / News Limited

Western Australia face a mountainous task to make Tasmania bat for a second time in the Sheffield Shield match at Bellerive.

SHEF - Blundstone Arena

25 November 2012 - Day 2, Session 3

Western Australia 2nd Innings

S. Whiteman 19 46 1 0 41.3
M. North 33 64 3 0 51.56

The visitors reached stumps on day two at 1-54 in their second innings, still 327 behind the Tigers' first dig total of 448.

The Warriors will resume with Marcus North unbeaten on 33 and Sam Whiteman 19, and with a point to prove to new coach Justin Langer after they made just 67 in their first innings.

The Shield's leading wicket-taker, Jackson Bird (1-16), had already struck in the final session on Monday, bowling Marcus Harris for one.

Earlier, the Tigers piled up a massive 381-run first-innings lead on the back of Ben Dunk's 97, an unbeaten late cameo of 76 from James Faulkner and skipper George Bailey's 66.

A fiery four-wicket haul from former Test spearhead Mitchell Johnson had threatened to limit the lead, but Faulkner put on 93 for the last wicket with Bird as WA's wheels fell off.

Johnson finished with 4-103 after a menacing and controlled display of speed that could have the 31-year-old in the reckoning for a Test return in the absence of injured paceman James Pattinson.

The former international cricketer of the year floored Tigers keeper Tim Paine with a vicious bouncer and hit several others in the home side's batting line-up to answer Bird's 6-25 on day one.

Johnson had Bailey caught at deep fine leg at 4-275 before Paine (4) and Luke Butterworth (2) were out to slips catches from superb deliveries for 6-295.

A short ball at Xavier Doherty's throat had the spinner fending a catch to short leg and on his way for two at 9-355.

A prolonged verbal battle between Johnson and Faulkner then followed as the Tigers allrounder mounted his brave cameo.

Tigers opener Dunk surpassed his previous best of 45 but fell agonisingly short of his first hundred when he was caught behind off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-110).

WA's dire situation didn't stop Johnson - a veteran of 47 Tests - declaring he was back near his best and ready to resume a career that earned him the game's top gong in 2009.

''I know exactly where I'm bowling the ball,'' he told reporters.

''That consistency's right up there again so I'm really happy with how things are going and if the opportunity came along again I'm definitely ready for it.''

He said only a lack of swing in the conditions had stopped him being at his lethal best.

''I think as the game's gone on, I've felt at my best,'' he said.

'' ... I felt like I got the ball through.

''Obviously I got a few quick ones through to Tim Paine.

''I feel like my pace is there but that hasn't been a real focus for me.

''It's more being that 85, 90 per cent (and) being able to bowl that quicker ball.''

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